ASAN is a blog of Adrian's adventures! (Formerly a Peace Corps Blog) "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." – Mark Twain
Since last August 2013, I have been providing small business consulting to two farmers, Edgar Ojeda and Giovanni Bogado, as part of a national Peace Corps initiative, Paraguay Emprende. I have been helping my friend Giovanni with his own small business, Tomate a la Caazapeña, by consulting him with business strategies in marketing, finance, accounting, and business management. Giovanni will begin selling tomatoes again in the end of February in the city of Caazapa.
I also provide consulting for my other friend Edgar with his own tomato and green pepper small business, Horti Sano, in the same business areas. Edgar will start selling in the end of March in the cities of Caazapa, San Juan Nepomuceno and Bueno Vista in the Department of Caazapa.
With Giovanni on his tomato farm:
With Edgar on his green pepper farm:
Last year, they both we were winners of seed funds to start their own business from Peace Corps’ annual national program, Paraguay Emprende. Peace Corps Volunteers teach the business course “Build Your Dreams” starting in March untill July. The course teaches young Paraguayans how to create and develop their own business plan. Volunteers take approximately one to three of their best students from their classes to a business camp competition in July where they compete for seed funds with other students from across the country.
The best business plans win funds, possibly ranging from 3 million Guarani (a large sum in Paraguay as the current exchange rate is $4,500 G for $1 USD) that are critical to kick off their business. After a winning student is awarded funds, Peace Corps Volunteers help implement the business plan with the business owner in the local community. See more information about the Paraguay Emprende program at www.pyemprende.wordpress.com.
I will be starting teaching my business classes this March to help Paraguayans create their business plans for their small businesses and thereafter consult them in marketing, finance, accounting, and business management to help them create profitable businesses. I am also on the Events Planning Committee and the Institutional Relations Committee for Paraguay Emprende.
Giovanni’s growing tomatoes:
Edgar’s plants at an early stage:
In the case of Giovanni and Edgar, these were students of the previous Volunteer who was at my site until last July, Brittney Bororian, who took them to the business competition – she did a fantastic job preparing them for their businesses. They actually tied to for first place at the competition. I have since started where Brittney left off by assisting them implement their business plan and start their business while developing a lasting friendship with them both.
Here is to a great start with Giovanni and Edgar!