Making Connections to My Country
By Azucena Munoz, Mexico
On this day we had a great talk about conditional cash transfers from Professor Patrick McEwan; during this session we explore different programs created by the governments, especially in Latin America, in other to reduce short and long run poverty. The examples were very revealing for me since some of them were from my home country of Mexico, with a program named Progresa, which is not active nowadays, but currently the federal government of Mexico has a very similar program called Prospera. This conditional cash transfer program’s aim is to promote consumption within the country, but its impact must be monitored in order to determine if this strategy is effective to reduce poverty.
From my personal experience I have seen how these cash transfers have increased in amount and number in Mexico, so I’m very interested in monitoring some indicators to know how effective this plan can be comparing them with other examples reviewed, such as those in Honduras and Chile and maybe evem determine some casual-effect relation between and among them.
After lunch, in the afternoon we had a workshop about “The art and science of the investor Pitch” this was the second and final part of a training in entrepreneurship from Rick Plaut and Rick Feldman. During this time we presented our business ideas, which we developed during the previous week. By the end of the day, four groups presented their pitch, with the following business ideas:
• Washing machine access service for the Ukrainian market
• Gas exploitation
• Networking among graduate students
• Mobile device to keep in track the health of dogs
Our team introduced the idea of creating a support network to foreign graduate students living in Boston area. We realized there was a market for this service given the amount of universities located here and the ones that offer graduate programs. Being a foreign student might be difficult in the beginning months, which is why we identified this need.
At the end of the presentations we had feedback from Rick and Rick, and one of the things I learned was that when we are developing a business idea the main questions should lean towards the idea itself, not just think in the money; and that If we want to be a good entrepreneur first we need to be good listeners.
This workshop was very inspiring also because of the manner in which Rick and Rick demonstrated how to teach this subject.
All opinions expressed by the program participants are their own and do not represent nor reflect official views from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, or of the Institute for Training and Development, Inc.