This week, Bridges to Community hosted an an iDEA Entrepreneurial Workshop for 35 local teens as part of its economic development program in the Dominican Republic. The six day workshop was led by entrepreneur and motivator Juan Casimiro of the Casimiro Global Foundation and business consultant Efrain Sora of Sora Global Insurance and Consulting.
The workshop was held in the Youth Center built by Bridges to Community in 2015. It taught participants the basic skills needed to start a business and put together their own business plan proposals. Following the workshop, the participants presented their plans to a panel of judges and the winners will receive rewards to help put their plans into action. All participants received certifications upon completion of the workshop.
“I’m really enjoying this course because it’s giving me a plan for after I finish high school,” reported Sebastian Montero from the community of Derrumbadero. “Now I know the steps to take to start my own business.”
Seleidi Encarnación also found a lot of value in the workshop: “The concept is simple, and our team has learned a lot.” While she admits that the math was a bit complicated, she appreciated the way the teacher explained it until it made sense. “Our team has a really great business idea,” she added. “But it’s a secret!”
Juan Casimiro began using his experience as an entrepreneur to help young people reach their goals 16 years ago when he formed the Casimiro Global Foundation. Since then, the foundation has inspired over 150,000 youth from over 20 countries. “Our mission is to empower youth to become entrepreneurs, social innovators and leaders who create positive change in their communities and the world,” states Mr. Casimiro.
Christina Balint, Country Co-Director of Bridges to Community in the Dominican Republic, saw immediately the effect that the course had on the participants, who have been participating in youth development workshops with Bridges to Community for over four years. “One of the most beautiful aspects that this course offers our youth is a shift in thinking. Right from the first day, they were challenged to think differently…to find motivation within and meet challenges with a smile. There’s no doubt in our minds that this experience has been life-changing for all of them.”
The workshop ran from September 26 to October 1st. The winners of the business proposal contest will be announced next week.