Nobel Prize Winner and FINCA Lead Youth Entrepreneurship Workshop

youth entrepreneurship

In June, FINCA joined forces with the PeaceJam Foundation to educate youth on the merits of entrepreneurship and social change. The two-day workshop in Guatemala City aimed to empower over 150 young Guatemalans with the knowledge and tools to start their own businesses.

Rigoberta Menchú, Nobel Peace Prize winner and human rights activist, was the keynote speaker. She spoke about conflict and human rights in Guatemala and her role at the PeaceJam Foundation. Menchú won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 in recognition of her work for social justice for indigenous peoples.

youth entrepreneurship
Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú (center) with Brian Kelly of The Points Guy (left), Nicole Rossell, FINCA Guatemala Board Member (second left) and Sona Gandhi, CEO of FINCA Guatemala (right).

Educating the Next Generation of Youth Entrepreneurship

Over 25 Guatemalan university students and youth attended FINCA’s sponsored session on entrepreneurship. Two FINCA clients—Hugo Jiataz, an auto repair shop owner and Javier Luna, a construction company owner—shared their experiences, challenges and triumphs of being entrepreneurs in the country.

After four cars were stolen from his business, Hugo learned how to keep moving forward in his business. “You have to learn how to recover from losses,” he told the attendees. “It makes you stronger.”

Javier added, “When you are earning a good profit, you need to save a percentage of those earnings as eventually you will face a downfall in your business.”

This year, over 30,000 clients in Guatemala are growing and expanding their businesses thanks to FINCA’s microfinance loans.

youth entrepreneurship

Brian Kelly, a travel influencer and founder of The Points Guy, was also a guest speaker. He shared his knowledge on the various steps to develop a thriving and successful business.

Throughout the workshop, students interacted with speakers and developed presentations on entrepreneurship, impacting change and doing social good.