The last three weeks have been eventful in the town of Los Blancos, here on the southern coast of the Dominican Republic.  Team Impact worked hard on their various projects, and accomplished some incredible things.  One of their APF projects was working with a local entrepreneur who builds furniture.


Meet Andy Starling, a young man with big dreams and great tenacity.  Andy won a Peace Corps Initiative last year called Construye tus Suenos, which allowed him to begin his business endeavor. He is extremely determined and independent, but is willing to take advice if it seems to help the productivity of his business. He learns quickly, describing himself as a sponge, and also really prides himself on being an entrepreneur since he says he would rather be the owner of $.50 than the slave of $2.00.


Andy poses with his furniture, after talking to the interns about his business. Photo courtesy Eddie EinbenderLuks.

In the first meeting with him, Team Impact realized that Andy’s business plan and expense tracking was only stored in his head and often much of the documentation was lost or misplaced.  “We found his hard work, work philosophy, creativity and innovation inspiring,” they said. His current workplace is the backyard of his mother’s house but he has great plans for the growth of his business.   “You don’t have to be big to start, you have to start to be big,” Andy told the interns.


Team impact worked to produce very useful documentation for Andy, including a pricing model, an expense sales tracking sheet, a catalog prototype, and a S.W.O.T. analysis.  “Working with Andy gave me a push, to when I go back home and I’m trying to create social impact or even a change in a market, to know that there will be obstacles, but to use those obstacles as stepping stones rather than giving up,” said Sara, one of the interns working on the project.