Scholarship Students & Small Business Owners Learn about Economic Development

Group work during the workshop.

In January, the Masaya and Nindirí scholarship students, community leaders, and recipients of community fund loans received a workshop on economic development and the creation of business plans.

In our Masaya and Nindirí communities, many community members have received loans to begin small businesses, including corner stores, livestock, agriculture, beauty salons, shoemakers and sale of artisanal products as well as hammocks. Bridges scholarship students who study business administration and accounting support small business owners in their community by helping out with inventory control and record-keeping. The scholarship students who participated in the workshop said, “Now we have the tools and knowledge necessary to create and better manage a small business. We can help the economic development program in our communities much better.”

Doña Mireya presenting her business plan.

Present at the workshop was Mireya Lopez Saravia, a very entrepreneurial-minded woman from El Portillo, Nindirí. A community leader, Doña Mireya has a corner store and recently began a new business in 2018 with a loan from the El Portillo community fund. Mireya buys tamarind from neighbors and community members from El Portillo and Cofradía, a neighboring community, and sells the fruit at the Masaya market. She has seen success on a small-scale and is looking to expand her business. Her business also benefits the families she buys the tamarind from as they can generate extra income by selling their fruit to her.

During the workshop, Mireya worked on and presented her business plan to grow her tamarind fruit business. She expressed that she learned a lot and is thankful for the Bridges economic development program. Mireya says, “The program helps us to get our businesses off the ground and earn a profit. Likewise, this workshop has helped me very much. I enjoyed the chance to learn about all the different projects that my fellow community members are carrying out. I also feel that this workshop has motivated me to be more organized concerning my business plan and continue working hard to make my business a success. I now have defined steps to take to grow my business. Thank you to Bridges for the support you are giving to our communities and the scholarship students.”