Step by step…how to create a social enterprise?

Our social entrepreneurship program is getting to its end. Last week Vivamos el Bosque held its legal advice workshop at “El Maltón” community. Here, Jorge Muñoz, shared his experience as a business owner and entrepreneur. He gave good advice about certain topics that need to be taken care before “legalizing” any venture. For example, some of our young entrepreneurs are under 18 years old, what makes impossible for them to sign any legal document; and most of them are still studying so their availability is limited.
como construir una empresa Besides that, Vivamos el Bosque shared with the students, a comprehensive list of things to-do to legalize their venture. Where to go? what to bring? how much does it cost?
With this information they can start their business once they feel ready to do so.
One more workshop left!!! keep following the blog!

Accountability…

This post it is not about a workshop for our youth entrepreneurs but the evaluation I conducted about Vivamos el Bosque. Been accountable is for me very important… I am constantly asking myself if the program I designed is really benefitting the youth from “El Maltón” community or if the beneficiaries are supporting the activities…
Evaluacion Vivamos el BosqueThe better way to know about their perspective is asking for their feedback and listening carefully for their recommendations. Evaluacion vbTo be successful, Vivamos el Bosque must be genuine in its work with beneficiaries and the community, clear in its financial dealings and open about what the money is spent on, and veritable in its reporting. After a long talk with our young entrepreneurs, I am really happy that Vivamos el Bosque is fulfilling most of their expectations and that they are feeling encouraged to become social entrepreneurs. They asked for information about the legal requirements to start a company in Ecuador and the step by step to obtain the sanitary permission. These topics will be covered in the coming workshops.
Finally, Vivamos el Bosque wants to also be accountable to itself, to its mission, friends and volunteers. Please feel free to ask for any information you may need. It is important for us!

Solidary Economy and Finance Management

Why solidary economy? DSC_0156

The second workshop was held during the second weekend of December at “El Maltón” community. We had 9 participants that joined us to the session held by Raúl Proaño, leader of a citizen school for about 20 years.

Why solidary economy? It is important to know a little about the Ecuadorian context to understand the foundations of this workshop. In 2008, Ecuador passed its new Constitution where a new development model came into force. The model is based in the “Well living or Sumak Kawsay”, and is sustained in the development of the human being and the care of nature. And more important it has an article in which the social solidarity economy is the axis of economic development.

It seemed to me a good idea to give a workshop in solidary economy along with finance management since the nature of our social veture is the conservation of the Cloud Forest.
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“Vivamos el Bosque” studied these changes, and learned from fellow experiences at the social organizations, peasant and indigenous organizations and NGOs, working to sustain this State model change.

The workshop was really interesting and got really engaged to our young social entrepreneurs. They learned about basic concepts of economy and social values that need to lead any social venture. With games and simple exchanges of products, simulating a community market, important concepts were covered and valuable information about the local situation of each of the participants could share.

I was lucky to share such an incredible experience! I am looking forward for the coming one!

Social Entrepreneurship and Conservation Program

Finally started! After a long preparation, the first weekend of December 2012, “Vivamos el Bosque” held its first workshop under its Social Entrepreurship and Conservation program for youth at El Maltón Community.
Youth social entrepreneurs

I had the pleasure to host six youth from El Maltón community in Quito and two inspiring Social Entrepreneurs that work hard every day to conserve the biodiversity of Ecuador, Gabriel Iturralde from Floare, and Lola Guarderas from Wikiri. FloareTheir personal experiences leading a social business that aim to protect the Orchids and the frogs in Ecuador, gave as a clear overview of why, how and when to start such a business. Wikiri

The workshop was interactive and rich in information. We had lunch together and went visit some shops in Quito where products from other social business are sold. DSC_0145

The sessions help me with the later preparation of training modules and curriculum that will respond to the needs identified in the training need assessment, and we worked on the development of a curriculum and an implementation plan for a proposed mermelades business.

A wonderful week in the Cloud Forest by Celina Perez-Beck

I’m Celina Perez Beck, a volunteer of Live the Forest. I spent a week in the community El Malton together with Anggie Escalante and Paola Zambrano, also volunteers, working with the people there, mostly with the kids. When we arrived to the community everybody was so welcoming that it made me feel that I was part of them.

We went to the school every morning to work with the children. We did activities like the Tree of Life, where every kid wrote its own pledge and commitment with the environment in a leaf forming a tree with all of them together. We also did the Cloud of Dreams where each of them writes their dreams in a cloud forming the sky.

They all worked great with us, from the youngest one to the oldest one in a single class. They were all so greatfull and glad to have us there, and that made us really happy.
One night we organized the screening of a film for all the people of the community. This activity was meant to involve youth from the area to know more aout their interests. It was not that successful because the film was about nature and I think they expected something else, but we still had a great time. The good thing is that the gathering attractes all the youth from the community! It was a pleasure to know that they are open to doing activities like this all together organized from people like us.

We also asked teenagers if they were interested in having courses to learn other things for them at the community since they don’t have that kind of education there, and it was so good to know that they do want to learn. They asked for computer and English courses.
I want to thank everybody from El Malton for making my week a great experience for me, and especially to the teacher of the school, Glenda, and her family for letting me stay at their home the hole week and for treating me like I was really special.