Lat year I had the honor to be invited by Comultrasan, a colombian financial institution, to support an inititive that they have been executing for some time now: to plant the seed of entrepreneurship in young school students
Comultrasan and the American School, an educational institution supported by Comultrasan since its inception organized a competition at the high school level in the Santander region, inviting students with entrepreneurship initiatives to paticipate in a conference called “inspire yourself to become an entrepreneur”, with the participation of local and international speakers and successful entrepreneurs that acted as role models for the participants (www.inspirateaemprender.com)
Since its foundation, the American School has had the mission to motivate its students to become entrepreneurs at a young age, and has developed a program that encourages the students to gradually work on more complex challenges.
I was surprised to see the level of the projects that were presented during the event, and the types of problems that they were trying to solve: potable water, recycling and sustainability, increase in agricultural production, etc. Any of those projects would interest for investors in any part of the world, which means that they are projects that are worth pursuing later on during their college years
One month later I was coincidentially invited to participate in a similar initiative in the Silicon Valley. The methodology was very similar to the one we used in Colombia the previous month. They also had a competition and speakers experts in innovation and entrepreneurs presenting examples that students could follow. The main difference with the Colombian event, was that this one was supported and funded by institutions like the World Bank, Google and other similar entities
How nice would it be if we could connect the two initiatives. We have good talent and good initiatives in LatinAmerica, but we still don’t have the muscle to make them grow. I invite the office of the United Nations in Colombia, Google, the Global foundations, and other local and international entities to support and connect these kids with their global ecosystems, to allow them to have access to the same opportunities of the kids in California and other mature innovation ecosytems . This would help us close the gap and provide our youngsters with more alternatives.
I am also confident that Universities will adjust their admission and scholarship criteria to evaluate the entrepreneurship potential of the students and not just the results of the standard admission tests. We need more innovative entrepreneurs willing to solve global serious problems and able to create companies and jobs