Co-train Emerging Women Entrepreneurs with Low-literacy Levels

Activity/project background

Partner: Municipal Office of Food and Nutrition Security of San Antonio Sacatepéquez (Government)

The municipal government of San Antonio Sacatepéquez, through its Municipal Food Security Office,
has a solid track record with advancing Guatemalan food security through activities that promote gender equity and women’s leadership. Its programming includes: working with women’s groups to build their confidence, form social networks, and facilitate opportunities to generate income.

In recent years, the Municipal Food Security Office has worked with women’s groups to implement income-generating activities. Some members have started income-generating activities and are exploring growth opportunities, either with their group or individually. To further develop the capabilities of these women, the municipal office is requesting a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) to support the design and implementation of a business training for a group of approximately 15 women. The goal of this training is to further develop the group’s capacity to generate and manage income.

The municipality of San Antonio Sacatepequz has previously worked with a Peace Corps Volunteer. They understand that the role of a VSPP is very different than a two-year Volunteer.

Virtual service engagement and tasks

The VSPP will engage in the following tasks, in collaboration with their Host Country Partners:

• Jointly develop a learning assessment tool to determine the priority learning objectives of 15 participants that could include topics on business plans, finances, brand development, digital marketing, and more
• Co-develop an online blended learning course that includes asynchronous and synchronous learning experiences
• Promote the participation of learners in the online course through WhatsApp messages
• Co-facilitate a 90-minute synchronous learning session to be delivered bi-weekly, for a total of 5 sessions via a video conferencing platform
• Monitor participants’ progress and provide feedback
• Conduct continuous reflection throughout the process to document progress, challenges, mitigation measures considered and adopted, lessons learned, and best practices
• Prepare a final report for both Peace Corps Guatemala and host country counterparts

This engagement is expected to be approximately 26 weeks. VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week.

Meetings between VSPPs and Host Country Counterparts will take place during normal office hours, Guatemala time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to WhatsApp, email, and Google Suite for regular communication and collaboration.

Per the Child Protection Code of Conduct, when engaging online with minors (0-18), two adults must be present.

Optional additional activities

The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Goal 1 will be achieved through the VSPP's engagement and completion of the above tasks. The counterpart and VSPP may also choose to identify an activity that aligns with Goal 2. Additionally, the VSPP may identify a Goal 3 activity to implement during their engagement. See recommendations and tools for Goal 3 activities.

Essential qualifications

Education: Bachelor’s degree in in any field

Language: Advanced Spanish

• Experience mentoring or coaching business owners
• Experience developing training curriculum on topics including business plans, finances, brand development, and/or digital marketing
• Experience working with vulnerable populations, especially women (ex. limited capabilities to use virtual applications)
• Using the experiential learning cycle with adults
• Experience volunteering, working, or living in Latin America

Intercultural skills and motivation: Flexible, strong cross-cultural agility, high tolerance for ambiguity, able to work independently, resourceful, creative, and genuinely motivated and capable to serve virtually

Desired qualifications

Education: Master’s degree in business administration or related field and/or significant experience in developing marketing strategies

Technical Skills: Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

• Experience training or coaching women’s groups in rural and urban locations
• 2 years of experience volunteering, working, or living in Guatemala
• Experience developing and implementing marketing plans for income generating activities or small businesses (traditional and digital)
• Ability to apply marketing concepts in small businesses (in the initial phase), and/or informal productive activities
• Experience in designing and conducting virtual training for adults with low digital literacy

Terms and conditions of engagement

VSPPs will be engaging with the host country partner, in coordination with Peace Corps post staff, remotely from the US. They should have access to a computer, internet, and telephone in order to enable direct engagement with the Peace Corps overseas office and the Host Country Counterpart assigned by the host country partner.

Orientation with the host country partner will be provided, within the designated virtual service hours, during the first week of virtual service via an online presentation and discussion. The host country partner will provide an overview of its organization, the local context, and how they envision collaborating with the VSPP.

The VSPP will have regular check-ins with their counterpart and bi-weekly check-ins with Peace Corps staff. Spending unstructured time with counterparts can be critical to relationship-building and is encouraged through activities such as coffee chats and informal calls within the weekly 5-15 hours.

Engagement-specific safety and security

The VSPP will receive an orientation on Peace Corps’ Child Protection Policy and how it relates to online engagement along with IT security best practices. The VSPP will be expected to follow safety and security guidelines for online engagement to ensure their safety and that of the Host Country Partner and their counterpart, and any beneficiaries of the engagement.

Supervision requirements

The VSPP will report to a designated Peace Corps staff member. The VSPP will be expected to abide by the Virtual Service Pilot Participant and Donation Agreement and Participant Principles of Engagement. The VSPP will also be expected to check in with the designated host country counterpart as assigned by the host county partner.

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