According to a study carried out by Alegra.com, Costa Rica lags behind in terms of young entrepreneurship compared to other Latin American countries. Only 39% of Costa Rican entrepreneurs are under 34 years of age; while, in nations like Peru and Mexico, this percentage exceeds 50%. The report “Latin America undertakes: An analysis of MiPymes in the Region” highlights the need to promote the entrepreneurial spirit among young Costa Ricans.
Despite the outlook, in Costa Rica there is a high entrepreneurial spirit among young people. According to the GUESS (Global University Entrepreneurial Spirit Students’ Survey), 21% of young Costa Ricans want to create their own companies once they finish their university studies, and 38% aspire to do so five years after finishing their studies. Thus, the potential of this segment in Costa Rica is high and promising; because the innovative spirit, determination and strategic use of the technology they possess are an advantage in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
24 young people prepared to undertake the task
Young people between the ages of 13 and 18 received training in marketing, finance, prototype design, and soft skills that allowed them to devise 5 entrepreneurial projects that propose solutions to problems associated with the environment, contact services, health, and animal welfare.
This is a group of 24 students who received training from the EPIC program (Entrepreneurship Program for Innovators and Change Makers), a methodology from Babson College, the world’s leading university in entrepreneurship education, through the Ingenious Lab, a unique student camp.
Daniel Allen, Director of Lincoln School, explained that an alliance between Lincoln School and Babson College was established 5 years ago with the purpose of promoting the teaching of entrepreneurship in Costa Rican society to promote development in the communities:
For us it is very important that society begin training in entrepreneurship and that it can participate in the economic recovery that the country so needs. It is through this camp and other projects that we are building that we sow the seed of entrepreneurial knowledge in Costa Rica.
To encourage inclusion in this initiative, Lincoln School gave full scholarships to 10 public school students to participate in the Ingenious Lab, as a reward for their excellent performance and academic commitment.
What businesses arose:
Local Link: a digital marketing agency aimed at supporting small businesses that need access to digital tools such as websites. The goal is to promote small businesses, advise them on their digital branding and help promote their product or service.
MedAlert: a smart device that reminds customers to take daily medications. The product is built with biodegradable materials to help the environment.
EQR: a digital system that aims to replace and eliminate the use of physical labels on clothing. The goal is to use QR codes to reduce the cost of materials in the textile industry and inform consumers about the characteristics of the product.
Ivy: a platform that simplifies the search for small businesses that offer convenient services for the population. Through an app and a website, starting to promote businesses has never been easier.
MediPets: MediPets offers a new way of supplying medicines to our pets. It is a flavored paste that makes it easier for our pets to consume medicines.
By participating in the Ingenious Lab, young people visited universities and innovation centers to inspire their analytical and teamwork skills necessary to create entrepreneurial projects. The students visited the facilities of Universidad Véritas, Texas Tech and GS1 Costa Rica.