U21 Social Entrepreneur Corps

A U21 venture, giving students the opportunity to undertake field work in rural Guatemala, helping local businesses and educating the local population.

The U21 Social Entrepreneur Corps in Guatemala programme builds on U21’s collective expertise in social entrepreneurship, online and blended learning, international collaboration and service learning, as well as on our common commitment to global citizenship.

Social entrepreneurship as a topic and Guatemalaas a location are already part of many U21 members’ study abroad programme offerings and this project, led by the University of Connecticut, is an approach to study abroad that combines global collaboration, new technologies and impact-oriented learning activities. 

The first U21 project took place in July 2012 with twelve participants from seven U21 universities and was declared as the most successful project ever run by the SEC organisers.

The project leader, Greg van Kirk, reported back to say "I just wanted to give you the great news that this past weekend the U21 students participated in our MOST successful village campaign since we started our work almost ten years ago. They supported a number of women entrepreneurs in the Jutiapa region and in one day served over 150 people and helped the women to sell 69 pairs of glasses, 35 eye drops, 30 packets of vegetable seeds, 8 solar lamps/cell phone chargers and one water purification bucket. Truly amazing! That amounts to hundreds of beneficiaries served in one day when you take into account the impact that these solutions have on families. And the women entrepreneurs earned nearly $240 in net profits. That is equal to over two months wages for the average rural Guatemalan." 

The 2013 programme had 14 participants from 11 members and the 2014 SEC is underway, running until 18 July, again being organised by the University of Connecticut. 

Click on 'more information' to read extracts from previous participants' blogs, or click below to see photo highlights from the project.