Women in Entrepreneurship in Peru – When I joined the Business Administration program at NSCC I wasn’t sure if it would be for me. I had a stereotypical image of business in my head as a stuff job that would be lacking in creative freedom. NSCC quickly changed my opinion on this as they showed me the power that business has to make sustainable changes in our communities and worldwide.
This year I had the opportunity to use my creative problem solving skills and business education internationally through NSCC international. As a group of three, we traveled down to Arequipa, Peru to work alongside a local university to assist a group of women who were looking to start their own businesses.
The project was modeled after the Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women Initiative that took place in Brazil. This program provides women entrepreneurs around the world with business and managements education as well as mentoring and networking.
The goal that Instituto del Sur, the university we were working with, had was to work with 100 women. These women were living in the district of Cerro Colorado in the Villa Cerrillos. This was a village that was living in the shadow of the volcanoes that surround Arequipa. I don’t think I will ever forget the first time we went into the village to meet the women at the non-profit school san Juan Apostol. The school was such a vibrant sign of life in the community. While we were taken on a tour of the facility we were greeted by constant “hola’s” and hugs.
The women we were working with all had fantastic business ideas, and the students at Instituto del Sur had assisted these women in thinking big and complete a 15 year plan for the business and their personal lives. My fears of the language barrier we’re quickly diminished as my small bit of Spanish, the students wonderful English, and a lot of hand gestures, we’re able to get us anywhere we needed to go. By working through the business model we we’re able to get a better understanding of the business as a whole and what it was the women wanted to achieve.
Something I loved about Instituto del Sur was that in order to teach within the school you had to be working in your field as well. This allowed us to connect to some staff members within the school. We were connected to a tourism teacher who took us on a city tour and to Colca Canyon. We stayed in a hostel that was owned by one of the marketing teachers. Also we were able to visit one of the businesses, Art Atlas, which a sales management teacher worked at.
This international program allowed us to experience the traditional culture, the business culture, and the social culture of Arequipa, Peru. It allowed me to develop my cross-cultural business skills and gave me the experience of a lifetime.
Business Administration Student
NSCC Waterfront Campus