What has been the impact of your solution to date?
Through the Helzberg Initiative of the Helzberg School of Management at Rockhurst University, we obtained funding for an exploratory trip to Duchity, Haiti. After meeting with community members and established NGO’s in the region, we were able to pinpoint specific areas that were lacking in Duchity, namely the availability of clean water, market outlets, and relevant educational opportunities. We have built a comprehensive report, regarding more efficient ways to serve these needs. Additionally we have initiated a campaign to raise funds for water filters for the area and have begun researching market outlets for their products. This grant request is focused on the third area: educational modules for social entrepreneurship.
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
Over the next 1-3 years, we will design our education modules, pilot the modules in different venues, create a small business to apply the concepts taught, assess our outcomes making any necessary revisions to the modules, and then teach the teachers how to continue the program. In enacting this plan we will effect change that benefits the current generation of students and generations to come. By creating this curriculum which fosters economic/business education and subsequently higher earning potential, we can not only express the empathy we feel toward the poor of Duchity but also activate the empathy of the learners towards their community.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
Language is a barrier. However, we found translators to be a great resource for Haiti’s culture, especially since ours are well respected in Duchity. We are also pursuing Creole lessons. Another barrier in the school context could be teacher buy-in. Through effective communication and the support already garnered from officials, this barrier should be overcome. For the educational extension, location could be a challenge, but there are possibilities at St. Marie-Madeline Parish, St. Thomas School, and AFAD. The obstacle of monitoring the small business from a distance will be overcome by using a Haitian businessman/translator with experience to oversee the activity.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
To create our modules, in order to launch our entrepreneurial education program
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
To pilot, assess, and revise modules, creating a sustainable social entrepreneurship program
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world [125 words]
We traveled to Duchity to pursue social entrepreneurship possibilities. We were open to any outcomes but none of us expected education to be what was needed. However, after we met with several groups, it was evident that this was a significant need. For example, CLAID students were unable to answer the basic questions of a business plan, despite asking for funding; agriculture co-ops were increasing productivity but didn’t know how to find markets. We could see the creativity and drive of the people which suffered from a lack of practical skill. We hope that we can share the skills we have with the students and people of Duchity, allowing them to increase their own earning potential. We empathized with them and their desire to learn and grow. We realized that in designing education modules we can help individuals empower themselves to improve their quality of life and inspire others.