During late August 2013, CIPE program officer Brent Ruth and I had the opportunity to travel through Peru to meet with EmprendeAhora alumni who have become amazing entrepreneurs. The purpose of this trip was to conduct an evaluation of the impact these alumni are having in their regions; however, I never could have imagined the impact their stories would have on me.
It was extremely motivating to hear how these alumni, with a little help from the EmprendeAhora program, gained the confidence to believe in themselves and in the entrepreneurial initiatives they’d only dreamed of before. Even more impressive was that they were all interested in doing business with a purpose. For them it was as important to have a positive social impact—if not more important— as to make a profit.
In order to share the positive social impact the EmprendeAhora alumni are having in their regions, Brent and I filmed our interviews with the alumni we met with in Peru. Throughout this year CIPE will publish a series of videos. The first video in the series tells the story of 2008 alum Jorge Luis Cueva Ramírez, co-owner and manager of a retreat hotel, Casa Cumbray Hotel de Campo in La Libertad, Peru.
Jorge opened Casa Cumbray in the countryside approximately 45 minutes from the city of Trujillo. The hotel began with just four rooms, and grew to 13 rooms within the matter of a year. Currently, there are 11 more rooms under construction. When the hotel first opened in August 2012, it was only open during weekends and holidays, however, beginning in the summer of 2013, it expanded to be open full-time. Casa Cumbray has served hundreds of local and international guests, and counts itself as the first country hotel in the La Libertad region. To date, the hotel has 14 employees – all of whom are locals. Jorge predicts the hotel will have 24 employees by June 2014.
The 6th edition of EmprendeAhora kicked off last month with a new class of 128 university students from around Peru. As one of their first assignments, students were divided into groups and tasked with creating their own videos to explain what democracy means to them. If you want to see what they came up with, click over to EmprendeAhora‘s YouTube page.
Claudia Hasbun is Program Coordinator for Latin America & the Caribbean at CIPE.