volunteer from California
Nicaragua | National Entrepreneurship Competition 2017
volunteer from California
This year, for the fifteenth year in a row, the Peace Corps Nicaragua Entrepreneurship Education Sector, with the support of the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education, will be hosting the National Entrepreneurship Fair and Business Plan Competition. Since 2002, Volunteers have worked side-by-side with their Nicaraguan counterparts to teach 11th grade students how to run a small business based on an innovative product or service that they have created. For our fifteenth anniversary, as a testament to the thousands and thousands of students who have passed through the course and competitions, we will be inviting previous participants who successfully applied those entrepreneurial skills by continuing their business or starting another one. These promising young entrepreneurs will take part in an intensive crash course, going deeper into important entrepreneurship topics to help them implement the changes necessary to take their business to the next level. In 2017 MINED, after seeing the success of the entrepreneurship course, decided to expand teaching entrepreneurship to all primary and secondary grade levels. Students will start developing important entrepreneurial competencies from a young age, culminating in 11th grade with the opportunity to start their own business. 11th grade students use project-based learning to not only focus on basic business skills, but also put them into practice, designing a product or service and creating a business plan based on the operation of their idea. The goal of this class is to empower students, often of modest means, to generate their own income and learn the principles of business that will serve them in their professional lives. At the end of the school year, student groups showcase their products in a series of competitions held at the school, municipal, and regional level. These competitions culminate in the national entrepreneurship competition held in Managua. The theme of this year's national competition is "Critical Evaluation and Implementation." Winning teams from each region will present their products to judges November 12 through the 14. They will also participate in sessions focusing on improving aspects of their business plan. Former students attending will be an example to current students and will learn ways to take their business to the next level. These 25 entrepreneurs will learn methods and tools to improve their business and be more competitive. Invited teachers will also participate in sessions designed to analyze weaknesses in student business plans leaving the competition better equipped to evaluate students in their communities. They will see precisely what is required to take a student business to full implementation. The national competition not only supports the young entrepreneurs participating in this event, it serves as an incentive for all 11th grade participants to create innovative business solutions to challenges in their communities. In our fifteenth anniversary, we hope to acknowledge the outstanding legacy of the collaboration between Peace Corps and MINED by reaching out to those who have been most impacted and helping them reach the next level. To realize this project, the Peace Corps Nicaragua Entrepreneurship Education Sector will need to raise $9659.79 by November 5th 2017, with a community contribution of $3,384.64.