Empowering Entrepreneurs In Emerging Economies

Free business training has been provided to 100,000 women entrepreneurs in Peru through a program known as Proyecto Salta (“project leap”).
Empowering Entrepreneurs In Emerging Economies

The goal to reach 100,000 women was set when the initiative was launched in 2010 by Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona, and its partners: the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter- American Development Bank, Grupo ACP, Mibanco, and the Australian government through Australian Aid.

Proyecto Salta delivered business concepts to its audience through a telenovela format—that is, a TV soap opera. The three episodes of “El Gran Salto,” or “The Big Leap,” followed the trials of various women entrepreneurs as they struggled to run their own businesses. As the stars navigated business obstacles, viewers learned essential information about accounting, marketing, and balancing their books. Thunderbird professor Christine Pearson helped create the program’s educational framework and materials, which were then developed into the telenovela.

The training was delivered to about 200 women at a time through seminars in cities throughout Peru; it was augmented with one-on-one mentoring, access to microloans, and other educational resources. Thunderbird MBA students provided more than 4,000 hours of one-on- one or small-group mentoring to 591 women.

December 2013 study by Peruvian company SASE Consultores found that 75 percent of the women surveyed after receiving Proyecto Salta mentorship were able to better analyze their businesses. In addition, more than 30 percent reported an increase in sales, and 24 percent had reduced their costs since implementing the suggested changes in their businesses.