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Katherine, a brave entrepreneur

Thanks to Plan International’s project “Learning to undertake”, Katherine has been able to enter the formal market labour as a heavy machinery operator, and has won seed capital to implement her own business.

Katherine is a charismatic young girl with a lot of drive and desires to move forward in life. She lives in a community in Piura (Peru) with her parents and four brothers.

The biggest barrier affecting families in her community is extreme poverty. The inhabitants of “Progreso Bajo” do not have access to potable water, and the distance between this community and Piura (the main city) is restricted: there is only one bus which passes by the community twice a day, limiting people’s opportunities.

When Katherine was finishing high school, she heard that Plan International and the Municipality of Tambogrande were starting a project to develop entrepreneurship and technical skills in teenagers and young people. That is how, through the “Learning to Undertake” project, she entered in contact with Plan International.

“I studied the three modules. In the first one, we developed entrepreneurial skills at an individual level; in the second one, we learned about business plans and in the third one we developed technical skills. Before the project I was easily ashamed, I felt uncomfortable talking in front of an audience, but little by little I started feeling comfortable when expressing my ideas”, Katherine recalls with a smile.

After successfully finishing the three modules, Katherine enroled in a heavy machinery course with the help of Plan International. Because of her good grades and performance during the course, she ended up among the best students and was given the opportunity to continue her studies in Lima, to learn how to use more sophisticated machinery. “When I saw the bulldozer with eight sticks I felt somewhat overwhelmed but the self-confidence sessions helped me in overcoming my fears”.

Katherine and her course mates. Behind, heavy machinery.
Katherine and her course mates. Behind, heavy machinery.

Currently, Katherine has entered the formal market labour through an agro-exporting company. “I’ve been here for three months, operating the heavy machinery, and I feel happy because I am the only girl in the team, and I can help my family with expenses like my brothers’ education”, Katherine comments.

Furthermore, motivated by the knowledge and skills she obtained from Plan International’s Project, Katherine presented a business proposal to a seed capital contest funded by the regional government. After submitting her project and presenting it before a jury (comprised by the local government, Plan International and financial institutions), she was awarded the seed capital and now has her own business set in place.