Monday, November 24, 2008

dreaming big pays off

In September, I wrote about my visit to the Brecha B--a rural community located about seven hours from Carmen Pampa where UAC-CP graduates recently started their own business, SIEMPRE-FORJA (Integrated Systems of Research and Education through Ecological Production).   The budding company is dedicated to the education, production, and research of bio-insecticides.

Last week SIEMPRE-FORJA was awarded the grand prize in a national competition: Ideas Emprendedoras ( competition of business ideas and plans.  Out of approximately 2,000 entries nation-wide, their company won the $10,000 first prize for innovation and a $5,000 second prize for biodiversity sustainability!!

UAC-CP agronomy graduates Fortunato Velasquez, Andrez Florez and Jorge Gallardo with UAC-CP education thesis student student Ruth Velasquez outside their company's (under construction) research center.

When I interviewed them in September, the four-some admitted that maybe their idea was a bit "crazy"--they were investing a lot of time, energy, money, and hope in the dream of owning a business that, while being profitable, will also aim to help local farmers increase production and protect the natural environment.  "I know it's pretty crazy," Andrez told me a couple months ago, "but we believe we can make it happen."

Today, in addition to the fact that their recent award will help to ease some of the financial burden they are experiencing with initial start-up/capital costs, it's also an important and nationally-recognized vote of confidence and an example to other UAC-CP graduates and students of how they can implement the mission of the College:  make an honest living and serve the people of rural Bolivia.   Our UAC-CP familia is very proud of Fortunato, Andrez, Jorge, and Ruth!

To read my September blog entry about SIEMPRE-FORJA, click here

No comments: