After arriving in site, I inherited an entrepreneurship class that my Paraguayan contact had already been teaching for several weeks.
Construye tus Sueños (Build Your Dreams)
Construye tus Sueños (CTS) is a free entrepreneurship class for Paraguayan youth put on by Paraguay Emprende, a joint Paraguayan-Peace Corps program that promotes business education.
Our class is a small affair. It’s held every Saturday afternoon at my contact’s education center. Only a few students show up each time and not always the same ones. The lack of continuity makes it difficult to move forward. But a few of the students are making progress with their business plans.
So far I’ve taught three times. Since they already formed their business ideas before I arrived, I picked up at the Goal Market lesson.
The following week was rained out. (They don’t typically go out when it rains here. It seems part cultural, part muddy road).
The next time we went over Operations Planning.
Since one student in particular comes consistently and seems motivated to form a business plan, last Saturday I simply went over key concepts with him as they related to his idea. (And he was the only one to show up anywhere near on time.) We reviewed employee issues, cost-price analysis, marketing, and sales.
He has started on his full plan in preparation for national workshop in August where he can compete for seed money to start his business.
“Business development” is one of the economic development goals of Peace Corps Paraguay, so more to follow.
Update: the class following this post had three students. So more or less, these three have been coming off and on.
I’ve decided that it’s more efficient to let them work on their actual business plans rather than teach a formal class since everyone is at a different point. I circulate among them to emphasize key concepts and provide assistance.
All three are making progress. Each plan is different: we have a automated irrigation system, an up and coming electrician starting his own repair business, and a home services business.
Each has their own challenges. The hardest thing for everyone seems to be cost and price analysis so we’re dwelling on that. I figure you have to get that right for anything else to work.