GEW / Honduras: Overcoming Political & Economic Crisis
Mark Marich (GEW global)
Mar 06, 2011
GEW was a huge success in Honduras! Despite the political and economic crisis that the country has been undergoing since 2009, Junior Achievement Honduras hosted several events that ranged from entrepreneurs' fairs, conferences, workshops to closing ceremonies of JAH programs, a Latin American Virtual Forum, simulation program finals and even received a prize for a road safety initiative. GEW / Honduras directly reached around 12,000 young people.
It was surprising to watch all the young participants in the Fairs with great business ideas and willing to make them real. At the National University Fair we were able to see several projects that have lots of potential and were able to bring one of the mini companies into contact with an investor and they are now partners. Another success story is that we were approached by Technoserve, an organization that aids young people with business plan preparation. Their Entrepreneurship Coordinator attended one of the fairs and commented that with all the enthusiasm she saw with GEW in the internet, she decided to open her own business and now she can teach her students from her own experience.
We had a cycle of conferences, in partnership with the Industrial Chamber of Tegucigalpa, with the participation of almost 1,000 people, most of them young. They heard about innovation, about education, about business creation. We had a very good response regarding the quality of the speakers and of the themes chosen and have committed ourselves to repeat this type of events at least twice a year. IDB has manifested their interest in supporting these activities.
What made GEW so special in 2010 was the amount of coverage received from the media and the interest shown by other organizations working with youth on business ideas and by businessmen in the country. Since most of the parties that showed interest came to know about GEW until it was going on, we were not able to coordinate activities for 2010 but are already planning for a much better event in 2011.
There were three TV appearances on the major local channels talking exclusively about the GEW and its objectives. This brought the attention of the people mentioned above and in general, many people still remember about us because of GEW.
Also, for the first time we used Facebook to promote activities and this also brought lots of interest from people interested in knowing how they could join this initiative. We expect a lot more partners for GEW 2011.
The Ministry of Education got involved for the first time and accompanied several of the activities. This gave us the opportunity to bring entrepreneurship into the political arena. After GEW we have been invited to participate in several discussions and have promoted the importance of supporting young entrepreneurs. We know that we have a long way ahead in order to see some changes but we are glad that the first steps have been made.
Overall, GEW in Honduras was much fun, lots of input and great expectations for GEW 2011!