Ariel Zylbersztejn

Year founded: 

video (Spanish)

Cinepop is a social enterprise that offers free cinema and entertainment as a way to increase quality of life for low-income families in Mexico.

Focus: Civic Participation, Education, Technology
Geographic Area of Impact: Mexico
Model: Social Business
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 10,500,000 (2011)
Annual Budget: US$ 21.54 million (2011)
Percentage Earned Revenue: 100%
Recognition: Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Mexico, 2006

Going into low-income municipalities away from major cities, Ariel Zylbersztejn discovered that a large part of the economic, educational and social divide in Mexico is due to their isolation from the system. The lack of access to information, technology, products and services has created a growing gap between the social classes that has become hard to bridge. Aware that 90% of Mexicans have no access to conventional movie theatres, Zylbersztejn created Cinepop to put free and educational entertainment within the reach of the lowest income population. He believes that a healthy entertainment environment shared by companies, government and the public contributes to growth, self-improvement and development.

Innovation and Activities
Cinepop has developed a free entertainment and educational platform that allows governments, businesses and low-income communities to create economic and social development opportunities that can increase quality-of-life and raise family incomes.

Each week, Cinepop gathers thousands of people in urban and sub-urban communities throughout Mexico to view free outdoor movies on giant screens. These large gatherings, supported by corporations, create a family environment where parents, children, grandparents and grandchildren can spend time together. It is also an opportunity for companies to interact with a large target audience and promote their brands.

The movie screenings are also an occasion to promote social programmes on health, environment, diet, employment, microcredit and other topics. To date, Cinepop movie screenings have been viewed by about 21 million people in more than 2,050 Mexican municipalities.

The Entrepreneur
Ariel Zylbersztejn studied mass communication and film, and has produced several short films. He has attended over 70 film festivals, including the Cannes Film Festival, and created Cinepop when he was 24 years-old. Zylbersztejn is a strong believer in social entrepreneurism and has spoken on the issue at several conferences, including Columbia University’s Social Entrepreneurship Conference. In 2009, he was invited to participate in the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Entertainment. He was recognized as the Founder of the Most Innovative Company of the Year by Michael Dell, and a Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006 by the Schwab Foundation of the World Economic Forum. Cinepop was named the Most Innovative Company in Mexico in 2007.