To our friends and family back home,
The Volunteers of Peace Corps Dominican Republic invite you to engage with the participants of (Build Your Dreams), an initiative of the economic development sector that offers business training and start-up opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs in our communities. These hard-working groups of youth strive to change the economic conditions in their communities and their own lives by completing an intensive 14-week course, writing and submitting a business plan, and competing for funds at the National Competition to start those businesses.
For 2012, 34 groups of youth submitted business plans, 16 were invited to compete at the competition in October, and the five most competitive plans as identified by a panel of Dominican and American professionals were selected to receive start-up funds. The administrative costs of running the program are covered by a grant, and the majority of the prize funds were raised from Dominican institutions. Two groups, however, are from the same community and together require more capital than we could raise locally, so we applied for matching funds that have just been approved. These young entrepreneurs are from the community of Las Galeras, Samaná at the end of the northeastern peninsula and work with the same dedicated volunteer.
Lorenzo de la Rosa Cruz is receiving funding for his “Cafetería El Buen Sazón” cafeteria on the main highway leading into Las Galeras. He won the category of “new business” and was also a crowd favorite.
Altagracia (Yadira) King is receiving funds to expand her artisan business “Altagracia Accesorio Artesanal” and competed in the category of “most innovative/creative”. She will sell hand-made products in the popular tourist region of Las Galeras. At the competition she wowed the judges with examples of decorated sandals she had produced.
Our Dominican partner organization is facilitating matching funds provided by local institutions, and the remaining $1,250 USD is being raised from friends and family back home. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to this project, you can easily do so by accessing the “Donate to Volunteer Projects” link on the Peace Corps website listed below and searching for the project number:
Volunteer Last Name: Humphreys
Project Number: 13-517-028
We are thankful for all the support we have received from home throughout our service and excited to be working with these young entrepreneurs that will make lasting impacts in our communities. If you have questions or would like to receive additional information about these projects or the program feel free to contact me.