Thursday, November 20, 2014

Entrepreneurship training at Najayo Correctional and Rehabilitation Center

Civil Innovation Lab has been planning to work with prisoners on giving them options to support themselves. Getting a job is tough in their situation as many employers do not want to hire ex-prisoners. In the case of Dominican Republic, where there employment rate is 15% (est), it is not easy to find a job that pays living wages.

In a country where there are lots of problems, there can be lots of opportunities as well. We want to investigate whether the (women)prisoners are interested in starting their own business, and so we ran a free social entrepreneurship talk to share lean startup methodologies and talk about entrepreneurship mindsets.

We were surprised by the overwhelming response and feedback, and many of them like to start their own business, and are not sure how. Some of them have pretty savvy ideas and after understanding social entrepreneurship, they asked many question and had concerns about resources and reach, and wanted to learn more.

As such, Carlos Miranda Levy (Certified lean started trainer), co-founder of Civil Innovation Lab will run a 8 week Entrepreneurship bootcamp to train lean startup methodologies to them and work with them on their business model and prototypes.

Civil Innovation Lab will also seek to create a funding platform to seed fund some of these companies to get them started, and hopefully employ others in their communities as well.

-- Robin Low

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