Our mission is to provide you with the knowledge, experience, skills and ongoing support necessary to work to empower marginalized individuals, families and communities in Guatemala, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Our goal is that you learn how to effectively consult in social innovation through high-impact experiences and can apply your new skills and knowledge to your future endeavors. You do but most importantly you learn. You may ask yourself, “Can I make really make a difference?� The answer is, “You most certainly can!� The Social Entrepreneur Corps leadership team is laser-focused on empowering you to be able to empower others. Read below about the key components of the Social Entrepreneur Corps experience and how you will contribute to innovative project and work in the field. At the bottom of is page you can also see some recent examples of the deliverables of participants just like you.

I felt that I made significant, tangible differences in the lives of the people we helped and that I grew a lot as a person and a global citizen as well. My summer was life changing and I would do it again in a heartbeat.�

–  Constance D., Duke University,  Nicaragua

 

Leadership & Support

Social Entrepreneur Corps runs very highly-structured programs. Participants are mentored by our Field Leaders, experienced development professionals who also form part of the Community Enterprise Solutions team. Leadership is with participants at all times working hand-in-hand while ensuring that we provide all of the support necessary to maintain a safe and healthy environment.  We treat participants as a part of our social entrepreneurship team so that we can together create the most compelling social impact possible.

Guatemala Innovations Leader Luke Burchell with a group from the Universitas 21 international consortium, July 2014

The leadership of the organization not only offered constant assistance and guidance while in Guatemala, but after working side by side with these amazing individuals, it was clear that each and every member of the team truly cared about changing people’s lives and creating a positive long-term impact for the Guatemalan people.

– Mike D., Miami University, Guatemala

 

Cultural Immersion & Homestay

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Forrest (Northwestern University) with his homestay family in the Dominican Republic

Immersion in language and culture is all about having contact with the local community members and practicing Spanish as much as possible. To that end, all of our Social Entrepreneur Corps participants will have the opportunity to live with host families.  All homestay families are trained by Social Entrepreneur Corps and many have been hosts to Peace Corps Volunteers; as such, these families understand the needs of the participants. The homestay  is an essential step in helping participants gain an understanding of how local people live and work as well as invaluable way to improve on classroom Spanish. The vast majority of participants end up forming great friendships during this process and decide to stay with host families when not designated by the program.  Many participants speak to this as one of their most valuable parts of the experience.

In Nebaj, my host mom dressed me in traditional dress one afternoon and told me about the history and importance of the red cortes and colorful huipiles as we walked around town…Each family had their own story to tell and way of integrating me into their home that taught me more about the communities we worked with and the issues we were addressing.

– Alison D., Boston University, Guatemala

 

Meet Some Homestay Families on our Youtube Channel!

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Brian Bergman (Miami University) in Spanish class with Marta Lidia Garcia, coordinator of Spanish language programs for Guatemala

Language Learning

Most of our longer term programs involve a language learning component.  Intensive classes are designed based on individual participant needs/desires so that all participants can be effective in the field as soon as possible and leave with a much greater command of the language.  Something that is very important in our program and daily planning is that all the activities focus on multiple modes of learning: visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. Learning is a combination of classroom activities and exploratory activities.

From giving presentations in Spanish to local organizations to going on campaigns in rural regions, every activity gave me the chance and the courage to step out of my comfort zone and push my boundaries as far as I could. I was changed tremendously as a worker and as a person and that is something I would forever be grateful for.

– Hugo N., Franklin and Marshall College, Ecuador

Social Entrepreneurship Education

During the foundation segment and continuing during the field segments, participants engage with our professional leadership, hear speakers and take part in dynamic discussions. The goal is to gain a strong basis of knowledge and understanding in order to engage in the critical thinking and creativity necessary to become effective in the social entrepreneurship field work.  Some of the topics covered include analysis of current development solutions, use of the Logic Model Framework, needs assessment practices, in-depth discussions about the MicroConsignment Model, analysis of micro-finance solutions, keys to effective social entrepreneurship, and case studies of select development organizations and projects.

Students from Duke University and the University of Connecticut during the Foundation Building segment of the Guatemala Eight Week Program

I have learned so much about development and the world, based on a context in which I lived and worked.

– Perry A., Duke University, Guatemala

Adventure & Cultural Activities

Sure, we want you to work hard and create great projects. But we also want you to have fun! Let’s face it- there will be tough days. Maybe the bus breaks down, or you get caught in a torrential downpour. It happens- we know. In those moments, it’s good to keep in mind that we pace ourselves and have fun, too. There will be opportunities to rest, to relax and if you are up for it, to experience some of the most amazing hand-picked locations each country has to offer. Whether it’s hiking a volcano, exploring the local outdoor market or visiting a completely deserted tropical beach, you will have the opportunity to experience a side of the country few visitors ever get to see.

My words cannot do justice to how awesome this program is, but it was definitely one of the most fulfilling, fun and rewarding summers I have had!

– Yichi C., Duke University, Guatemala

Innovative Projects & Field Work

You guys definitely took our work seriously, holding us accountable for it and pushing us forward, always expecting nothing but the best. This was probably the best internship I’ll ever have, because you guys asked for our best work while at the same time providing a solid safety net when necessary. Never change your approach to working with SEC interns, because it was an awesome experience.

- Ashley M., Northwestern University, Dominican Republic

Needs & Feasibility Analyses

You help us to understand the dynamic of real, perceived and felt community needs through research, observation, surveys and informal conversations. You learn how to ask the right questions, in the right way. And then you listen, record what you learn and communicate your conclusions to our team.

Innovation Design

You help us to modify and design appropriate, dignified, systematic and scalable solutions. Whether it’s a new way to reach and educate people, or an innovative technology with measurable impact, it should empower community members to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families.

Capacity Building

You will deliver workshops, facilitate trainings and work one-on-one with local constituents and beneficiaries, providing them with critical skills, knowledge and tools that were previously inaccessible.

Scaling Impact

When we find a social innovation that works, we want to scale our impact by teaching it to others. You play a critical role by reaching out to organizations and communities so that we can share our best practices.

Evaluation

Can we do better? You’ll find out by talking with individuals, families, communities and organizations that we support. You will help us to better understand what’s working, what’s not, and how we can improve.

Highlighted Recent Work

We weren’t just interns doing busy work. We had the opportunity to mold our work and make real contributions. When we had ideas, we were taken seriously. You can make as big of an impact as you want. It’s interesting: the creators of the MicroConsignment Model set out to create access to opportunity for rural women, and by some fortunate accident, they ended up creating access to opportunity for college students as well. Seize it.

- Craig M., Duke University, Nicaragua

Declaro Mis Derechos Brochure
Declaro Mis Derechos BrochureDominican Republic
Participants created a promotional brochure for families seeking to declare their children in the DR.
Solar Lamp Girasol Info Sheet
Solar Lamp Girasol Info SheetDominican Republic
Participants designed a promotional flyer for the new solar lamp product.
Water and Sanitation Manual
Water and Sanitation ManualDominican Republic
Participants created an informational manual to help entrepreneurs promote best practices for hand washing in conjunction with water filter sales.
Shampoo Production
Shampoo ProductionEcuador
Participants designed a shampoo production manual to support local artisans in venturing in a new business opportunity.
Nutrition and Hygiene Habits
Nutrition and Hygiene HabitsEcuador
Participants designed a nutrition and hygiene poster to promote healthy habits in rural communities.
Andean Stove Manual
Andean Stove ManualEcuador
Participants created a construction manual to facilitate training and building process of stoves in Ecuador.
Family Impact Profiles
Family Impact ProfilesGuatemala
Participants created informational profiles on families who had previously purchased Soluciones Comunitarias products to determine the impact the purchase had on family wellbeing and savings.
Lema Customization
Lema CustomizationGuatemala
Participants created a customization scheme for the beautiful handwoven textiles allowing potentials buyers to choose from their range of rich natural dye colors.
Feasibility Study New Solar Lamps
Feasibility Study New Solar LampsGuatemala
Participants assessed the potential for the introduction of two new solar lamp models into the product line offered through the MicroConsignment Model.
Abonatura Labels
Abonatura LabelsNicaragua
Participants created labels with product information to better present, inform and improve sales.
Campamentos de Cafe Brochure
Campamentos de Cafe BrochureNicaragua
Participants created a brochure to promote the educational projects the organization is implementing in Nicaragua.
Water Filter Warranty
Water Filter WarrantyNicaragua
Participants created a warranty card to implement a new costumer service tool for clients purchasing water purification systems.’

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