Written By Craig Brammer: Program Manager Thunderbird for Good
On October 10, 2012 Proyecto Salta launched its 3rd and final campaign. In 2010 The Multi-Lateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank, AusAid, Mibanco, Grupo ACP and Thunderbird School of Global Management entered into an agreement to provide training to 100,000 women entrepreneurs throughout Peru. This program brings an innovative approach to training entrepreneurs by incorporating “telenovelas” (soap operas) into the training. The curriculum for this training is developed jointly by Thunderbird School of Global Management and Aprenda which is the education and training arm of Grupo ACP one of the leading social mission corporations in Latin America. The production of the telenovela is completed by Somos Empresa the communications subsidiary of Grupo ACP, and the training is administered by trainers from Aprenda.
Telenovelas are very popular in Peru as they are in other parts of Latin America. Participants in the Salta training follow the story of a woman entrepreneur facing challenges that they can easily relate to. Throughout the training the women follow the story of this entrepreneur as she faces business challenges. In order to overcome the challenges she faces it requires her to apply business principles such as accounting, marketing, strategy, networking, and negotiating with suppliers among others. At the beginning of the training each entrepreneur is provided a workbook with exercises designed to build their business acumen on topics covered in the telenovela. As the character in the telenovela confronts each of the business challenges listed above the trainer for Aprenda will stop the tape and ask the entrepreneurs in attendance to identify ways that the character can overcome those challenges. The trainer then educates the entrepreneurs in attendance on the relevant business principle needed to overcome that particular challenge. The trainer then has the entrepreneurs complete an exercise that helps them apply that concept to their own businesses. After the business principle is taught the next segment of the telenovela is played and the entrepreneurs in attendance can see how the character in the telenovela utilizes this business principle to overcome her challenge. In order to encourage the entrepreneurs to put these principles into practice in their businesses the workbook also contains blank worksheets and templates that the entrepreneurs can take home with them and begin using in their businesses.
The first Salta campaign was launched in June of 2010 with the story of Vicky a women entrepreneur that owned a small store and dreamed of opening her own restaurant. The story followed her as she learned the lessons of a first time entrepreneur and fought to make her dream a reality. The second campaign told the story of Pilar an entrepreneur who started her catering business to help her family get through financial hardship. She is met with resistance from family members and is able to overcome this and also learn the skills necessary to become successful.
In May of 2012, I traveled to Peru along with Thunderbird professors Dr. Christine Pearson and Dr. Karen Walch to develop the framework for the third and final campaign of Salta. We met with the program coordinators for Aprenda Miriam Vazquez and Giancarlo Cafferata and developed the framework for the script of the Telenovela and identified the topics that will be covered in the third and final campaign.
The third telenovela centers around Zoila a single mother who seeks to transform her sewing business into a dress making business. The final campaign will address the many of the same topics addressed in the previous two campaigns such as cash flow, marketing, and networking, but will also address new topics such as sales skills, utilizing technology, and analyzing an appropriate capital investment. The main character from the first campaign Vicky is featured throughout the other two campaigns and serves as a mentor to both Pilar and Zoila. The trailer to the final campaign is embedded below:
In its first two campaigns the Salta campaign has trained nearly 62,000 women entrepreneurs throughout Perú. The third and final campaign will be the largest to date and will train over 40,000 women entrepreneurs, bringing the total number of entrepreneurs trained by Salta to over 100,000. We anticipate that the final chapter of Salta will be an instant hit for all the entrepreneurs that have the opportunity to watch it, and will help these entrepreneurs to become leaders that create sustainable prosperity throughout Perú.