Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring 2014 Week 10

This has been our second to last week in Trujillo, and we have been trying to get in more of the business plans.  We have had some frustrations with missed appointments, and now only have one week to get as many plans written as possible.  It is great to see the progress some of the students have done, though it has taken a couple months to get to this point.  We have also had very successful classes with the church, and we continue to see great progress and potential with those students. 
Latest project at la carpinteria -- Aurora
Richard and Jackie Brown -- El Gringo Loco
This week we had been talking with Richard Brown, who is the owner of the restaurant El Gringo Loco, about further expansion of his business.  He is a Texan who lives here with his wife Jackie.  He started El Gringo Loco to create a real American-style burger restaurant in Peru.  The restaurant has been in operation for just over a year, and he sought our direction to help grow their business.  We went over some of the basics of the business plan, and some more specifics concerning marketing and location.  We see great potential in his business, especially as it is still going strong for a full year, despite its location far from center and away from high-traffic areas. 
New classroom at the Academia.
We are working with a lady named Silvia who wants to put Internet cabinets in her house. After working with the financials projections the business wasn't going to be making enough money. We then looked at what we could do to make the business more profitable and thought of a few more things they can sell and provide that compliment the computers. We now feel confident that they can make this business work. We just had to look at the skills they could add to the business. 
This week we paid a visit to the Academia, to see how their first week of school went.  They were disappointed to only have 14 students for the school year, and we helped revise their marketing tactics.  There is not much they can do for this year, though some students to transfer schools after the first month or two, so they may potentially get a few more students for the year. 
 Thursday was Lance's birthday; Elena took us out to a nice Chinese restaurant for lunch.  We also celebrated later that night with some dinner and Karaoke at Roky's, a nice chicken restaurant. 

Chinese lunch for Lance's birthday.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring 2014 Week 9


This week we visited some of the locations of the students we are currently working with.  Last Monday we headed out to Porvenir to see the workshop of Erick, a student makes shoe for young girls.  We are very impressed with his work, and hope he will be able to receive a loan to improve his work situation.  He needs some machinery to accelerate the shoe-making process, and so he will not have to outsource some of the processes that could be done in-house.   

On Tuesday we headed out to visit the potential future location for Rossi's spa.  She lives out in Laredo, which is about a fourth minute ride in a combi from Trujillo's center.  Her location seems great for her business; it is located on a corner on one of the two main avenues in Laredo.  We walked a couple blocks with her to see the nearest barber shops, which would be competition to her.  She will be, however, offering many more services than just haircuts; the nearest spa with similar services is located about six blocks away from her.  We are still adjusting her finances to help her make it work; most of the students want a lot more than they can afford to start off, so we teach them to start small, and reinvest into their business over time. 

We finally made it out to the famous bakery in Huancaquito Bajo.  One of the original partners recently stopped working for the bakery, so the work is divided among the three remaining partners.  They rotate shifts, as the person running the bakery had to work through the night.  It will be more work for them now, but they will be earning more per person.  The 28th of this month marks the 5th anniversary of the bakery's opening.   

Juan Carlo's Bakery

The bakery's oven.
We visited a business that has finished paying off the loan. It is a little juice shop in a market at the center of Trujillo. She has been doing very well with her business. She has built up a clientele that helps her sell everything she plans each day. We had a juice of pineapple, papaya, and cantaloupe which was delicious. Her business is as busy as possible at the momenwith the location she is at. She would like to find a bigger space so she can offer more products but until then she is doing well and most of the time doesn't have to work because she hires someone to work most of the day. 

On Thursday we were able to finally get a tour of the Danper plant. We saw how they sort the asparagus and bottle them. It's a neat process with a lot of workers. Danper sends asparagus all over the world and it is a great opportunity to work with this business here in Peru. 
Visit to the Jugueria

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spring 2014 Week 7


Last Monday we paid a visit to the Academia, as they were putting on a show to commemorate the end of summer. The children along with their instructor, Elder, put together a comical sketch and a dance, among other things, to show parents and friends what they have been learning and practicing in the summer months. The children did an excellent job, and it gave us one more reason to know how well the Academia is working.

Students' Skit at Academy
Dance Performance at Academy
Week two with our classes with the LDS church has been rather successful. Our turnout has been strong, and the students attending our very willing and prepared for full participation in the program. This week we have extended the class period from one hour to an hour and a half to make it more worthwhile for those students who have to travel long distances to get here. We have made up the time difference by including more group activities within the class, which have proven very effective in the learning process, especially in the area of creating new ideas for businesses. The students get to work with each other to solve potential problems that may arrive in their own businesses, and gain insights that they may have not found working alone.

Last week we had bought our tickets to go to Cajamarca for their annual Carnaval; we had been planning the trip for a few weeks. Friday night came, and we were mistaken of the place from where the buses leave, and made it just in time to watch the bus drive by! The weekend was in turn passed in Trujillo, which still always allows us for a good time for all the friends we have here.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Spring 2014 Week 8


We continued with the church class this week. The students are getting more and more involved each class, which is very good to see. People are getting more confident in the business idea and feel like they have success when they apply what we're teaching. This last week we taught about advertising and administration. 

Cesar Asmat wants to put an internet café in his house, so we looked at the location. We walked around and saw where the other internet cafés are, how many computers they have, what competitive advantages they haveand the type of customers they have. We also looked at indirect competition in the area like people getting internet from other sources and people just usinsg a phone or tablet. After looking we could see that they did have a lot of competition but depending who they target, they could have a successful business. 

Thursday night Mike Glauser and Scott Davis arrived here in Trujillo to discuss important changes that will be developing in the SEED program with us, with representatives of Danper: Sembrando Futuro, and with the LDS church.  They took us out to dinner that night to Chelsea, a fancy restaurant not far from the main square.  Over dinner, they told us of the future plans to expand the program, and of the hopeful acquiring of new in-country partners.  New partners would expand our teaching pool, cut costs, and increase the number of interns needed for execution.  The current success of the program in helping people with no other means of training and access to capital has sparked interest of new investors and potential partners.   

 Friday morning Mike and Scott attended our class at the LDS church.  The students were able to ask them questions, and tap into their vast knowledge and experience in the field of entrepreneurship.  This experience gave the students a small taste of what their true potential can be; they understand that starting a business is difficult, but through doing so they can provide themselves with employment for life.  Upon talking with students after class, we gained an insight of how much more inspired they are to conduct their own business; it felt good to hear their feedback, and to know that we are truly helping them realize their dreams. 

Santo's Restaurant Inauguration
We had a meeting with Juan Leyva that same day, and spoke of the potential of the program with the LDS church.  He works in center for self-reliance, and with the church's Perpetual Education Fund.  He is willing to do anything necessary to help out with the program, and to help some of these members get back on their feet.  Wasatch Social Ventures is looking to fund a few projects from this pilot program with the church, and hopes to see continued growth with the church as an in-country partner.  So many things have happened for this program to work up to this point, and only time will tell what will happen with this potential partner. Saturday morning was full of visits to current projects with Mike and Scott.  We visited Aurora's Carpentry, the Academy, Bertha's Internet service, and the inauguration of Santo's new restaurant.  Her minimarket was a project funded a few years ago, and has subsequently been paid off.  She was able to apply for a bank loan to open up her restaurant, which is adjacent to her market.  Through this program she has been able to see much success, and has improved the lives of her family.

View from the Leyva's Apartment
Juan and Rita Leyva