Microenterprise at the Circus: Developing a Financial Literacy Curriculum in Bolivia

Microenterprise at the Circus: Developing a Financial Literacy Curriculum in Bolivia

Location:
Cochabamba, Bolivia
GESI Team:
Sean Bald, Jacob Meschke, María Valencia
Partner:
Foundation for Sustainable Development
Development Sectors:
Education / Youth; Social Entrepreneurship; Income Generation
Apply to the Program  
Summer 2016

Project Background

Performing Life is an NGO that serves impoverished rural communities outside of
Cochabamba, Bolivia primarily through performing arts programs that teach circus and music skills. In recent years Performing Life has also provided a successful Bracelet Program for the families of participating youth, in which these families made bracelets to be sold through a Performing Life partner in the United States. Due to the Bracelet Program, now terminated because of its unsustainability, many families in the rural community of Montenegro who send children to Performing Life’s programs have considerable savings. The organization had plans to implement a new Microenterprise Program to teach business and financial management skills to these families and give them tools to use these savings, but fell far behind schedule.

Upon the GESI team’s arrival, the situation was analyzed, and the team decided to develop a comprehensive financial literacy curriculum. The team conducted interviews with families and consulted with local economic development specialists. With this background, they adapted pre-existing resources to create a curriculum tailored to the Montenegro community. Lastly, the team purchased a variety of school supplies, from whiteboards to pencils, as well as a high-quality projector, which will support the program for several years.