AUTHORS: Orlando De la Vega and Rodrigo Vergara

UNIVERSITY: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso




ABSTRACT: This is an opportunity-creating case that describes the business opportunity that Miguel Fernandez (founder of Fesanco) discovered while working at a company in the Chilean port sector in 1995 and how he was able to use this opportunity, his skills, and his network to create his company in 1998 by taking advantage of the change of the Chilean law in the midst of an economic global crisis (1998-2002). The case describes how the founder instinctively applied effectual reasoning to create the opportunity and to transform an idea into a lasting service company. The founder is not an extraordinarily creative or accomplished person, but he has leadership skills, great social and ethical awareness, and he is perceived as reliable and hardworking. Fesanco is currently a small company, with fifty employees, that acts as technical representative of recognized global brands in the market of heavy-duty equipment. It is dedicated to the development of engineering projects, to selling cranes and other heavy-duty equipment, including spare parts, and to post-sales maintenance service in several South American countries.

TOPICS: Service company; effectual reasoning; causal logic; personality traits and competences; realizing of who you are and what you know; networking and relevance of people whom you know; finding and creating opportunities; entrepreneurship as a choice after work experience; economic crisis as an opportunity source for business, port industry and its modernization

COURSE POSITIONING: This case should be used in the first level of entrepreneurship courses, either on the undergraduate or graduate level, to illustrate the creation-oriented behaviors imbedded in effectuation.

OVERALL TEACHING OBJECTIVE: This case presents a real situation in which an ordinary person (rather than a superman or superwoman, or a genius) using basic skills, initiative, and effectual reasoning, became an entrepreneur in the area of technical services. This situation is a good example for students who usually believe, when they hear about entrepreneurs and new venture creation, that these projects are reserved for extraordinary people who are either a genius or have an unusual family heritage.