Business Advising Volunteer
You can only have one active Peace Corps Volunteer application, so choose a position that best fits your skills and interest. You have the opportunity to tell us if you’d like to be considered for other openings and more about the ones that interest you most! See application process
Business Advising Volunteers have the opportunity to work with diverse populations in their communities. Volunteers are expected to develop skills to work with community associations (cultural, sports, youth, women, productive, agricultural, etc.) and promote management of personal finances. Additionally, they work with youth from technical high schools promoting an entrepreneurial vision linked to field based small practicum projects performed during their last two years of school. The role of the Volunteer in the classroom varies greatly across program sites, but Volunteers should expect to spend a significant portion of their working hours in high school classrooms. Additionally, PCVs support informal groups that participate in technical and entrepreneurial courses to form small businesses in rural areas.
All Volunteers work with our main partner, Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA). SENA is a nationwide public institution focused on the social and technical development of Colombians through trainings and entrepreneurial opportunities. SENA employees provide technical assistance to Volunteers and together work to promote entrepreneurship and business development with local youth, informal groups in their communities and business owners. The Volunteers also work in coordination with community leaders, small businesses, and directors/ teachers of public high schools. As a result, an additional counterpart for all Volunteers are the Ministry and Secretaries of Education.
The relationship between Peace Corps Volunteers and SENA Counterparts can vary from site to site, and Volunteers may work with SENA instructors who live in their site or collaborate with instructors assigned to a wider geographical area that they visit less frequently.
Based on the above conditions, Volunteers’ work requires flexibility in connecting local community members and organizations, who typically have limited resources or formal business training, with development and economic opportunities in rural communities.
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any business discipline
• 5 years professional experience in business management
• Business development experience (e.g. Working with entrepreneurs in the development of a business or income generating ideas: analysis, feasibility studies, business plan writing, and strategic planning)
• Financial Education experience (e.g. Experience working on financial education- personal and family, savings budgeting, goal settings)
• Experience working to advise small businesses/cooperatives
• Community development experience with adults and youth, especially identifying their assets and potential for growth
• Experience working with youth and female entrepreneurs
• Ability to create and maintain local networks with different stakeholders and interest groups
• Ability to design work plans and self-direct their project work, under minimal supervision
• Openness to working with diverse rural community groups and in grassroots development
• Interest in farm management/agribusiness, tourism, working in financial education and development of youth entrepreneurship programs, and/or
• Training entrepreneurs, community members and small businesses/cooperatives on basic computer skills
Required Language Skills
In the Andean region the climate is colder, especially at night. In the Andean region there is also more rainfall throughout the year and the temperature fluctuates depending upon the time of year and varied weather conditions.
Volunteers usually commute by public bus and/or mini buses to get around and to attend training/working activities.
All Volunteers are required to live with a Colombian host family for the entire 27-month service in order to promote community integration and maximize volunteer security. The host family stay can be one of the more rewarding components of Peace Corps service and an important resource for cultural integration. As such, applicants should be flexible and committed to building strong relationships with the family they are assigned. Furthermore, Volunteers are expected to spend the majority of their time in the communities where they live and work. Because of this commitment to integrating into their communities, Volunteer vacation has to be taken only during the appropriate times of the year when local organizations are not functioning.
SPECIAL NOTICE ABOUT CITIZENSHIP: Candidates who are either dual citizens of Colombia and the U.S. or who were born in Colombia and became U.S. citizens after July 4, 1991 are not eligible to serve in Peace Corps Colombia. Under Colombian law, anyone born in Colombia who became a U.S. citizen after 1991 or anyone holding dual U.S. and Colombia citizenship is considered a citizen of Colombia, and not of the United States. If such an individual faced a legal, safety or other emergency situation in Colombia, the Peace Corps' ability to intervene would be limited. If you fit either of these categories, we encourage you to look at other assignments.
Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Colombia: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety — including crime statistics [PDF] — in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.
Medical Considerations in Colombia
- Colombia may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: insulin-dependent diabetes; ongoing counseling.
- The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: none identified.
- Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: gluten.
- After arrival in Colombia, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot, to take daily or weekly medication to prevent malaria, and mandatory immunizations.
Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the clearance process and other health conditions that are difficult to accommodate in Peace Corps service.
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