Jaime Garcia has always loved helping businesses grow through innovative tactics and putting the community’s needs at the forefront. As an experienced Product Designer based across Tokyo, Bogota, and New York as a Partner of Meanwhile, a design and strategy consultancy. His research focuses on the emotive value of design for business strategy. In his career, Jaime Garcia engages on multidisciplinary projects across the globe, and his past clients include major brands such as Hewlett Packard and Sony. Jaime joined MovingWorlds to find the best way to use this passion growing entrepreneurship for small businesses around the world.
For his Experteering project, Jaime decided to partner with Tobby Vision Computers, a vocational institute which aims to inspire young men and women with the knowledge of entrepreneurship, agriculture and information technology. Together, they led an entrepreneurship workshop, Action Lab, to help local business owners grow their enterprises and expand their reach within the community.
Read on to read about this experience in Jaime’s own words. (After, make sure to check out Tobby Vision Computer’s side of the story here)
Jaime Garcia wraps up a three weeks training in Creative Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Cameroon with Tobby Vision Computers.
This last April and May, students and institution staff participated in an intense workshop focused on creative thinking to foster entrepreneurship – called Action Lab. This program focused on learning how to observe local issues, analyze them by evaluating and validating community assumptions, and work on them as a leading innovator, in pursuit of value–added solutions. Finally, they faced the challenge of becoming true entrepreneurs by creating new business model ideas that could be tested and improved on following the shared framework. My job was to help deliver content around entrepreneurship best practice, and also serve as a mentor and coach.
Beyond teaching, my goal in Cameroon was to absorb and be inspired by the local culture and the richness of its people, share global views through personal experiences, and empower others to act on issues that affect the community in ways that can improve life across many aspects.
I believe that positive transformations for communities, cities, and even countries can occur when local teams are empowered to solve their own challenges. I believe opportunities do not appear if people don’t search for them, I believe growth starts from having a common vision and working together towards that end.
Action Lab is the first step of this transformation. Action Lab is an initiative started by Tobby Vision Computers to provide tools, training, support, and further development of local innovators and new entrepreneurial business ideas.
Last weekend was a very special experience, as students and institution staff members pitched to local investors. You can read Tobby Vision’s blog for a clearer idea of the content we discussed in workshops. But here is a summary: We had eight teams with business models already developed, including a financial assistance project to improve financial literacy in the area, as well as a bakery, an updated computer science program, and several agricultural programs. After the program, The Action Lab entrepreneurs were scored by the judges, and team #2, a poultry farming program, emerged as the winner.
This was such an amazing experience, and an excellent reminder that everyone is an innovator, regardless of their skill set, education, experience, creativity level, or status. What we look for with Action Lab is to help make everyone aware of these innovations, helping them fuel this energy into a conscious creative act. And for all these, I am completely sure all the individuals I have had the chance to meet and exchange ideas with during these days are more than ready to lead the way!
Join Jaime in making a difference by volunteering your skills in business strategy and entrepreneurship or supporting economic development, and get started by applying for Experteering membership at MovingWorlds.