One of the participant teams of a workshop presenting their business projects.
Venezuela’s current economic and humanitarian crisis is internationally recognized, but it is just the latest symptom of a much larger problem: a citizenry that doesn’t understand what true free markets actually look like. Econintech, an Atlas Network partner based in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, is educating the public about the need for true free markets with its Fellows Program.
Econintech’s Fellows Program organizes and delivers lectures, workshops, and short courses about entrepreneurship, leadership, and management. Through these events, Econintech promotes and supports startups and other projects that require a low capital investment. Scholars use these events to explain how these investments, coupled with policy reforms, are the best way to alleviate poverty in Venezuela. In the first semester of 2019, more than 250 students from universities and high schools attended these activities with great interest and motivation.
“I would like to attend more events like this,'' commented Francisca Fernández, who participated in “Venezuela Entrepreneurs,” one of the entrepreneurship workshops. Fernández is a third-year student at the School of Science and Technology at Universidad Centroccidental Lisandro Alvarado in Barquisimeto.
As project leaders, Econintech’s three current Fellow-Scholars ensure that students are receiving a strong free-market message.
“Honestly, when we started to organize these workshops we thought it would be a little difficult for people to be interested in, given the crisis,” noted Professor Joel Torrez, a CPA, and expert in entrepreneurship. “But we were highly surprised when attendees started to participate and share their business ideas. There is no doubt that Venezuela has hope with them.”
Fellow-Scholars and Founder-Director Luis Cirocco facilitate an activity at María Auxiliadora high school in Barquisimeto.
“Venezuelans should be educated to understand that despite this moment, we have to have entrepreneurship and promote hard-work, because our country cannot be a country of beggars forever,” explained Professor Neley Rueda, who holds a Ph.D in Measurement, Evaluation & Research from Florida State University and is also the academic director of Econintech. “We have to adopt the real free-market reforms to prosper.”
Along with the third Fellow-Scholar, economist Juan Carlos Correa, Econintech will continue holding these lectures and hopes to add an element of competition in their future programs.
“We aspire to hold a competition—something like a Shark Tank where Fellow-Scholars will analyze and choose three feasible and low capital requirement projects,” noted Dr. Rafael Acevedo, founder & director of Econintech. “We are doing our best to offer at least three monetary prizes. Anyone that wants to support us in this project is welcomed and can contact us.”