Nine months ago, Winston and Lesther, both junior high school students, embarked on a mission to produce homemade pineapple jam. Both students are beneficiaries of the Rural Secondary Program (SAT) at the Fabretto Education Center in San Isidro de Bolas, Managua.
Both Winston and Lesther market their product in the community and participate, on average twice a month, in the “Family Economy Fair” organized by the Ministry of Families, Community, Cooperative and Associative Economy (MEFCCA) of Nicaragua. The income brought from the selling of the marmalade allows them to buy personal items, but their dream is for their business initiative to grow enough to sustain themselves, and generate employment for other people.
Wendy, a senior year student from the same Fabretto Education Center, also aspires to become an entrepreneur and that more and more people can enjoy her cream based punch. “In two hours I have sold 5 bottles,” enthuses the young entrepreneur.
Like Winston, Lesther and Wendy, thanks to the support of the Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN), the Japan Special Poverty Reduction Fund (JPO), and the Barcelona City Council through Fundación Comparte, thousands of high school students from the Fabretto Educational Centers located in rural communities of Nicaragua, have started their business initiatives. Through these initiatives, young people manage to generate income, contribute to the local economy and break the circle of poverty.
During the Agroindustrial Entrepreneurship Fair that took place last September 8th at the Fabretto Education Center in San Isidro de Bolas, 12 teams of entrepreneurs exposed their experiences and products. The fair included tasting and selling of their homemade products such as jam, punch, wine, sauces, mixtures to prepare chocolate and coconut drinks; processed spices, medicinal and cosmetic ointments, among others.
“These entrepreneurial students motivate their younger peers, who have also joined the fair, by selling food in order to raise funds for their business initiative,” said Steve Flores, Assistant Director of the Fabretto Education Center. Flores also points out that the entrepreneurial students have improved their communicative skills and have “learned to visualize other opportunities” in their surrounding environment and to “market themselves”.
“We have seen that young people have learned to produce with the resources they have among them; that is our goal, to be able to contribute to their personal development and to contribute to their community, “says Alberto Urbina, Project Coordinator of Fundación Comparte.
“We never imagined that the idea of making this jam would come together, but now that we’re here, we have to seize the opportunity,” says Lesther, who along with Winston, and his classmates, produces around 50 cups of jelly from his house.