Summer Entrepreneurial Experiences

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Closing Week

Thursday, July 2, 2015 6:38 pm

I am finally back in the states. I still have a few more papers to right and research to finish but my time in Nicaragua is done. The difference between here and there is incredible. Coming back to a country where faucet water is not only accessible but drinkable is so strange. In Nicaragua, it is very unlikely that the water from the faucet is clean. I cannot believe the amount of things I took for granted while living here in the states. Water is used in almost everything that I use on a daily basis dishwasher, washing machine, shower. Then you get into the miniscule amount of insects here in comparison. Because Cleveland gets hard winters there are not too many bugs. In Nicaragua you would have mammoth mosquitos and moths. Overall though, I am glad I took the trip. Like I have said before, I feel more confident in my abilities as an entrepreneur because I have learned a little from both big corporations and small ones there in Nicaragua. Thanks for all the support and I will post again maybe in a few weeks to talk about the difference in my Nicaragua internship and my marketing internship.

Wrap Up

Monday, June 29, 2015 6:35 pm

As I complete last process of my internship, I can barely believe how fast time has gone by. I have missed so many things in the states and I have felt I have been living in a different world for the last month. I learned a lot during my experience here in Nicaragua and I am eager to share when I get back. This past week I gathered all of my research from the my trips to the communities and I began making my presentation. There has been so many loose ends to tie up before I leave. So far based on my observations, there is a potential for a few microbusinesses in the area to grow and expand. Some included a cheese and cream business, boat fabrication business and coconut oil farm. It really is incredible how these mini businesses are so successful without proper energy or equipment. One thing I found particularly interesting in Nicaragua is the accounting structure they have. There, business owner have to keep a written ledger of all sales transactions. It is actually an efficient system because after every transaction they mark down the sale. No need for an outside accountant here. Though in terms of efficiency, many of the money making business tactics are no used, the reality that this is understandable due to the lack of high level education here. In general, I have learned a lot about Nicaraguan business structure and I look forward to my last few days.

 

Week 4 in Nicaragaua

Monday, June 22, 2015 4:25 pm

Hey guys.

Week four has been a real challenge and but at the same time learning experience. I did the interactive part of my project this week. My coordinator and I traveled to some rural parts in an area called Mohagany. There, we analyzed the business structure of the microbusinesses there. The goal was to see which businesses would be suitable for solar panels which could provide energy to these microbusiness. It was very interesting to see how these businesses function without any real business plan or technology. The businesses were all very spread apart and we had to take a boat to each one. Most of the businesses dealt with cattle in regards to meat and milk. The main problem that these businesses are having is lack of refridgeration due obviously to the lack of energy. Based on my interviews and research this past week, I have gained a new understanding of business in Central America. I learned how to look at the different aspects of business and the role of efficiency. In total this week provided me a number of characterstics that I think will be important for me in the future.

Week 2! Project Revealed!!

Monday, June 8, 2015 12:05 am

The people here at blueEnergy are great! They really have some great perspectives and outlooks which provide me personally with a new way of looking at life! This past week I learned my project and what I would be doing with my time in Nicaragua. In my project I will be responsible for a number of tasks which are aspects of the overall larger project. The larger project concerns 67 home solar systems and allocating them across the two communities (Belen and Hone Creek). There is a mix of home systems and micro-enterprises. The purpose of the implementation of the solar panels is incorporate benefits amongst the community such as access to energy, healthier environment, and in total a boost to the economy in these locations. The research I will conduct will help the progress of the project for the integration of the micro-businesses which is a desire of Renewable World. Within my specific assignment, I will be investigating the micro-businesses to see which products are produced/ordered by the small enterprises. All this will help me in my overall goal which is to understand the markets in the area and come up with a way to give training to the proprietors. When finished I will present my work to blueEnergy. There are so many things that play into my project and I really hope to learn a thing or two about entrepreneurship from the owners of these small businesses. Aside from work I have gone on a number of hikes and trips to really gain a sense of the culture in Nicaragua! So far it has been an experience that I will never forget. Other than the 1000 degree weather and man-eating bugs here the internship thus far has been successful. Next week after I really delve into my project I can give a little better explanation of my project! Until next week.

My first week in Nicaragua

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 1:59 am

My first week in Nicaragua was really amazing! There were so many festivals and the first week here was really just learning cultural norms and learning the city. It was really confusing at first because there is no street signs (in some cases there are not even roads) but the city is a pretty decent size. The first week we also went through orientation where we learned leadership skills, effective strategies, the culture, the history of blueEnergy, and political view here in Bluefields, Nicaragua. For the summer, I really hope that I learn as much as I can in terms of the Economy and how microbusinesses function here. I will be working with another intern who has a bachelors in geography and a masters in environmental consultancy and my responsibilities are various. To clarify, for the internship I will be researching the products of micro-businesses here and figuring out which ones sell, which have potential for sale and the amounts of current products, before installation of solar panels that blueEnergy plans to install. The second aspect will be understanding how people sell products and where the market is. Finally I will be trying to implement training tools for micro-businesses so that the beneficiaries understand the solar process and exploit solar energy for their companies hence aiding to the economic value of Bluefields. Most of this information will come from internet research and going out in the city to survey people and ask specific questions that will aid in my research. In all, I am really excited to start working and hope I learn a lot. See you next week!!!

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