Cuban entrepreneurs reinvent themselves to survive the pandemic

May 08, 2020


Photo: Yander Zamora/EFE.

Photo: Yander Zamora/EFE.

by Yeny García

If opening and maintaining a private business was already difficult in Cuba, the COVID-19 epidemic now places new obstacles for Cuban entrepreneurs, forced to reinvent themselves to survive an unprecedented crisis from which, despite everything, they could emerge stronger.

Hardened after years of fighting against shortages and bureaucratic obstacles, the island’s “self-employed” are using their inventiveness and adapting their ventures, many of them now focused on home delivery and on strengthening online interaction with customers. Everything to stay afloat until the pandemic passes.

Some have gone further and have adapted their offers to the new situation: lowering prices, adding incentives―such as free masks and free or half-cost shipping―and guaranteeing security in deliveries.

Crisis after crisis

A little less than two months ago, people toasted in bars and restaurants in Havana. The rental houses bustled and the classic cars colored the streets, today almost without traffic and with signs of “Closed for COVID-19.”

Since the first cases of coronavirus were confirmed on the island on March 11, one after another the self-employed started closing their businesses even before the government decreed the closure of leisure centers and borders, leaving out tourism, the greatest source of income for the Cuban private sector.

The post about “Cuban entrepreneurs reinvent themselves to survive the pandemic" appeared first on the OnCuba News website.


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