After a long and very productive week, our trip to Lima has come to an end…I am sitting at the airport waiting for my plane to start boarding and thinking about all the cool things we went through this week. Phil has already blogged about the great contacts we made and the new opportunities that are waiting for us, so I guess it is my turn to write about the companies our students will potentially be working with next March…Jessica, a young entrepreneur that started a web design firm in Peru, then found an opportunity to expand to the US and is now working on starting a new handbag business -unique Peruvian designs manufactured by artisans in 2 local communities. Miguel and Diego, 2 young entrepreneurs in his late 20’s that started a paprika business a few years ago…at the beginning of 2010, they got money from the Interamerican Development Bank to develop a robot that will increase harvesting capacity and now want to commercialize it…pretty cool, huh? And lastly, Pilar, who ventured in the food segment and started selling jams, olives, salad dressings -among other Peruvian delicacies- in the local market…suddenly she realized she could expand to Europe and has done it with great success. Her sales have increased in such a way that she is now looking at investing in building her own manufacturing plant…quite impressive!
My greatest takeaway was to feel the passion that these young people have for their businesses and their country. It is great to see how committed they are with their community and how much they care for their employees and their families. Their positive energy and optimism is contagious and made us feel we definitely want to be part of it!