Andrea Gonzalez-NegronFounder, Salto Peru Peru
Impact area: Economic empowerment; Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8
Andrea Gonzalez-Negron founded Salto Peru in 2015. The organization trains university students to offer consulting services to micro-entrepreneurs—many of whom are indigenous people with limited access to education and business networks—to improve their competitiveness and provide a sustainable solution to the problem of poverty.
“The lack of opportunities for underprivileged Peruvian youth to generate sustainable incomes was exacerbated by the pandemic,” Andrea explains. “But it has also created an opportunity for geographically isolated areas to leapfrog and integrate into larger supply chains digitally. The award will support the launch of a new program promoting digital skills and supporting young leaders to launch social impact and business ventures with an online component.”
Promoted through a robust social media campaign, Atisun Lab selected 25 young people from cities across the country—Cusco, Lima, Arequipa, Ucayali, Junin, Puno, and Tacna—to participate in a digital business pre-incubator. Youth were chosen based on their leadership skills, proactivity, commitment, and experience in entrepreneurship. Online training sessions covered topics ranging from design thinking, coding, and website development to social media marketing.
A challenge for the Atisun team was pushing participants beyond their comfort zone, particularly those from non-tech backgrounds. With the support of a digital mentor, all successfully completed the training stage.
The youth then formed five teams, each tasked with developing an innovative, scalable business idea capable of generating socio-economic impact. Their concepts included web-based platforms for: providing individuals with motor disabilities with a second job, marketing the products of women artisans, promoting the economic growth of local restaurants, facilitating the adoption of abandoned pets, and supporting individuals struggling with anxiety, stress, and insomnia during the pandemic.
Aspiring entrepreneur Raquel Mamani gained new hard and soft skills that strengthened her confidence overall. “With the methodology applied in the program, I learned a lot of things—programming, web design, and online applications—that I didn’t like much in the past,” she says. “Now I’m very fond of these things.” Raquel valued the chance to collaborate with like-minded peers. “I met a lot of young people from different parts of the country who aspire to be social entrepreneurs,” she says. “Together, we could develop better ideas.” Raquel’s project facilitating the adoption of abandoned pets received funding with a website now in development.
After a successful first run, Atisun Lab is now supporting its second class of 25 young leaders.
The Global Youth Resilience fund will help Andrea and her team to accomplish the following goals:
- Train and empower 60 highly motivated young leaders by providing them with opportunities to develop business, leadership and digital skills.
- Help these young leaders create and develop ~12 digital business ideas which will in turn have impact on their communities.
- Support the launch of viable impact/business ideas and accompany them for the following year. While some ventures might be aimed at solving immediate pandemic-related challenges (until vaccine rollout), others will have the potential to scale and continue operating the post-Covid world.
Get to know Salto Peru better here.