Conceived as a showcase for Made in Cuba goods, Bulevar Cubano was born, the first online store focused on the consumer from within the island that offers products and services designed by entrepreneurs, such as t-shirts, jewelry, leather bags or handmade soaps.
Since systems such as PayPal do not exist on the island, Bulevar Cubano allows you to reserve the products from your website and the payment is made in cash at the time of home delivery.
Yunier Soler, Yoslandy López and Gerardo Rodríguez are the three young Cuban computer scientists who are behind this project, which in just one week has already achieved four sales when it is still being released.
In his effort to find technological solutions to difficulties that Cuba poses, it was Soler who proposed the idea to his two friends, who were enthusiastic about this pioneering initiative on the island, where the network did not begin to extend until 2015 but already has 4 , 5 million internet users in a population of just over 11 million.
In two and a half years, Cuba has gone from being almost disconnected to having more than 500 public Wi-Fi zones – at one dollar per hour – where an average of 250,000 connections are made daily, and Internet is planned to be installed in homes and mobile.
Three young Cuban computer scientists are behind this project that is still being released:
“Bulevar Cubano intends to function as an online store grounded in the Cuban reality, where most people have no way of making online payments,” one of its founders, the 31-year-old computer scientist Gerardo Rodríguez, told Efe.
Due to the embargo that the United States has on the island, the use of online payment gateways, through bank cards or systems such as PayPal, is banned, so Bulevar Cubano allows you to reserve the products from its website and the disbursement is made in cash at the time of home delivery.
“Basically, it is a new sales channel for entrepreneurs who are producers of some kind of Cuban manufacturing. (…) It is another example of how the private sector is trying to cover services that are common in other countries and that are barely they exist, “Rodríguez said.
On the island there are no online stores with global reach such as Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, Asos or Zalando, since you can not pay online or have Cuba in the list of countries to send orders.
According to its creators, another of the advantages of Bulevar Cubano is that it gives the possibility to any entrepreneur to expand the scope of their activity by allowing to offer their products and services for free in this virtual store, without the need to invest in a website of their own.
Since President Raul Castro in 2010 extended space to the private sector, Cuba has a little more than half a million “self-employed” – as the autonomous workers are called – who have promoted innovative businesses in the Communist Island, as a designer of clothing and accessories, decoration and craft shops, web developer or event organizer.
News Source: EFE