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Plan International in Peru works with young people to develop sustainable financial means for them and their communities. By strengthening their entrepreneurial capacities, young people have been able to obtain jobs in good conditions or to start their own businesses. They all believe a lasting and positive change is possible for them and their families.

Yessica lives in Cura Mori (Piura, Peru), where Plan International implements the project “Learning to undertake”. This project, addressed to high school students and young people who are out of the school system, aims at strengthening entrepreneurial skills and attributes such as having a strong self-esteem and creativity, learning about time management, savings and credits, how to create a business proposal, work rights, among other capacities.

With these skills and knowledge, young people are able to either start their own businesses or to become stronger players in the job market, hence, they can access jobs with better conditions.

Ten years ago, when Yessica was playing “to the restaurant” with her friends, each girl had to play a role in the game. Yessica liked being the “manager” of the restaurant. That is when her dreaming of having her own business started.

Yessica is 17 years old, the seventh of eight children, a senior high school student and the daughter of Esperanza (which means Hope) and Gregorio. Her mother Esperanza raises and sells domestic animals and also sells “chicha de jora” (a local drink). Her father works part-time as a farmer.

Yessica and her parents
Yessica and her parents

When the callings for participating in the Project “Learning to undertake” started, Yessica’s relatives encouraged her to sign up. She already knew Plan International because of other projects in her community. This made Yessica excited.

“What I liked the most about this proposal was that I could have an opportunity to learn how to start my own business”.

Yessica has learned to identify her own strenghts and weaknesses and to analyse her environment in terms of opportunities and restrictions for setting up a business.

She also learned to make a budget, a market research and a cash flow, and about marketing. She is also sensitised about the importance of saving, planning and being perseverant in order to achieve her goals.

At the end of this training programme, Yessica drafted her own business plan “My Kiara restaurant” (Kiara is her niece’s name).

Plan International and the Cura Mori local government organised a business projects contest and the winners were awarded seed-capital to start their business ventures. Yessica’s business plan won fundings that she has used to equip the restaurant (kitchen utensils, pots, etc.).

Yessice serving a dish at her restaurant
Yessice serving a dish at her restaurant

“I believe that having a business makes us more independent, encourages me to have a long-term vision and to persevere. I want to study Industrial Engineering and I think this business will put me closer to that goal”, Yessica explains.

Smiling Yessica sits in front of her restaurant
Yessica in her restaurant

A key element of the project is that young people also learn how to pass their learned knowledge and skills to other people, making the intervention sustainable. As well, Plan International trained school teachers in these topics, so they can train new students each year.