Social Entrepreneurship Experiences

Pack your suitcase (and change the world).

Some business people live for making money, but the new breed of social entrepreneurs focuses on changing lives.

For students who join in on TCU’s social entrepreneurship trips, it’s a chance to put their business acumen to work for a good cause.

Students traveled to Guatemala to work with the Chajul Association for Women. The handicrafts co-op turned out beautiful rugs, linens and textiles, but barely cleared $1,000 in sales in an entire year. They had mastered the craft skills, but needed help on business strategy.

TCU students looked at the challenges — an isolated location, language barriers (the ancient language Ixil instead of Spanish or English), few looms (and little space to add more) — and formulated a business plan. Back in the states, TCU found new markets for the co-op’s goods.

To learn about doing business in developing countries, another group of students trekked to the Dominican Republic to work with Esperanza, a micro-lending organization. Armed with these micro loans, local women can set up small retail shops or sewing businesses to pay for their family’s education and health care. The loans, considered tiny by American standards, can change entire communities by giving families a reliable economic footing.

Watch a video about the Dominican Republic trip.

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