A couple weekends ago we had our Entrepreneurship Camp that I mentioned a while back. Isaiah and I and two youth from our town bussed up to Asunción for the three day workshop of working in teams, learning business skills, practicing the art of public speaking, getting creative, meeting new people from across Paraguay, and having fun.
We had to leave an hour early on Sunday so our youth could catch the bus back to Yuty. At the beginning of the weekend they said that would be no big deal at all, but when the time came to leave they were brainstorming any other possibility how to make it work so they wouldn’t have to leave their new friends and miss out on the last ounces of goodness that the weekend brought to them. It was so sweet.
Overall the workshop was awesome. The youth were able to learn and practice real business skills in dynamic and interactive ways – like designing, marketing, and pricing a contraption to drop an egg from the second floor without having it break, identifying the needs of real Paraguayan communities and then creating a business concept for that target market, as well as being their own boss and decision maker in a computer game (created by two of my impressive G-mates specifically for this camp) to see how their choices affect their profits and business as a whole.
There was also time for snacking, chatting, dancing and laughing but the youth loved the academic activities because it’s a rare thing to have a dynamic and creative assignment here in Paraguay. Oh and of course there were some inspiring speakers too and a chance to have lunch with real Paraguayan business people.
The planning committee and all the volunteers worked so hard to pull off a successful camp. Isaiah helped to plan and execute one of the big activities and it was fun to see all the hours of detail sorting, reworking, and phone calls pay off. I didn’t do much work to plan for this camp but as the new general manager for this year’s cycle of activities, I’m already having fun thinking things through, getting myself organized, and handing things off to the utterly capable steering committee. Our training group has some great big ideas of how to keep this project moving forward to meet the needs of Paraguayans even more than it already does, and I’m excited to be part of the movement.
Now that the camp is complete, it’s time for Peace Corps Volunteers to start teaching the Build Your Dreams entrepreneurship class in their sites. Throughout the lessons of the class each student builds a business plan which they could take to our July business plan competition event for the chance to earn seed funding to actually get their business off the ground. Exciting times, y’all!
By the way, I somehow forgot to snap any photos of the event so I snagged these from my buddy Phylicia!