As part of Plan International Peru’s drive to ensure a healthy economic future for young people, we are creating learning opportunities to strengthen young people’s entrepreneurial skills. These people have accessed technical studies in metalwork, welding, crafts, cosmetics and heavy machinery, in order to enter the labour market under better conditions, with other groups learning husbandry and weaving skills. Strengthening their productive technical abilities has led to some students obtaining employment in better conditions, while others have started small businesses, and all are hopeful for long lasting, positive change in their lives and those of their families.
Luis lives in the Chipillico Valley (Piura, Peru) where Plan International carries out the project ‘Learning to undertake’. This project, which addresses high school students and young people who are out of the school system, aims at strengthening their entrepreneurial capacities, and at developing their employment and self-employment skills.
When the training sessions started, Luis’ father was not so convinced about our project, so he decided not to pay for Luis’ transportation costs. However, Luis had a very clear objective - he wanted to have his own business. He did not get discouraged and, in spite of the difficulties to get there, he continued attending the training sessions.
By the end of the training programme, Luis had a clear business idea - a chicken farm. For an entire month, Luis dedicated 4 hours a day to elaborate a well-structured business plan, and to practice his oral presentation.
Then, he presented his proposal to a seed-funds contest before a jury comprised by Plan International staff, local government and representatives of financial institutions. The jury selected Luis’ business proposal as one of the best 10 proposals out of more than 60, and gave him capital to get his business running.
The implementation of his business was rough. The community where he lives did not have access to drinkable water, which is why he had to go to the river and gather water in buckets. Then he had to chlorinate the water, so that it was suitable for the chickens. But he remained positive.
“With Plan I learned how to face a problem without feeling shattered, I can always pick myself up again despite difficulties,” he says.
Nowadays, with the profits from his business, Luis supports himself and his family, and he is also able to save some money to continue his education and expand his business.
He says: “I would like to generate jobs, and I also want to study business administration. I would also like to give talks and share my testimony with high school students, I’d like to encourage them to pursue their dreams and to tell them that it’s possible.”
The project’s purpose is that young people like Luis develop social and economic entrepreneurial skills that empower them to conduct their lives with higher probabilities of social and economic success.