Entrepreneurship Education Teacher

Before You Apply

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Project Description

Entrepreneurship Education Volunteers are trained and assigned to co-teach an entrepreneurship education course in public high schools in coordination with the Ministry of Education (MINED). A vital part of this assignment is training the entrepreneurship teachers in the course material. Volunteers in this program will:
• Train and advise entrepreneurs and managers in business planning, marketing, financial management and product design
• Develop and write project funding proposals
• Work with community and business support groups
• Teach business courses
• Facilitate Business Training Workshops

All Entrepreneurship Education Volunteers are also expected to conduct training on personal money management in order to assist community members in developing the capacity to meet their personal financial goals. Furthermore, Volunteers will be encouraged to work with their community to organize a career and/or college fair in their sites to increase opportunity awareness among youth.

Peace Corps/Nicaragua also collaborates with other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community groups to reach out of school youth. Recognizing that small businesses form an integral part of the nation’s economy and in light of globalization and various trade agreements, the Entrepreneurship Education Project will continue helping interested micro-business owners and entrepreneurs to improve productivity and competitiveness. Volunteers do this by motivating, inspiring, and assisting them in the development of their business plans as well as the application of sound business planning and management techniques. The project will provide current and prospective small business owners and entrepreneurs the knowledge and skills needed to take advantage of economic opportunities, secure employment, and/or generate income. The focus of the Volunteer’s work will be transmitting knowledge and developing the abilities and skills of business people, and community groups wishing to improve their quality of life through the promotion of sustainable economic activities.

Required Skills

Competitive candidates will have one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any business discipline
• 5 years professional experience in business management

Candidates must have an interest in and ability to co-plan and co-teach a high school entrepreneurship course with Nicaraguan teachers who have no prior business training.

Desired Skills

Competitive candidates will have experience and knowledge in:
•classroom management, weekly planning, monitoring, and evaluating progress
•teaching youth/teachers on basic business skills via a Junior Achievement-type curriculum, employability skills, utilizing information technology, etc.
•ability to identify and establish relationships with micro and small business owners to coach them on basic business practices, such as the use of cash flow statements, and marketing strategies

Required Language Skills

Candidates must meet one or more of the language requirements below in order to be considered for this position.

A. Completed 4 years of high school Spanish coursework within the past 8 years
B. Completed minimum 2 semesters of Spanish college‐level coursework within the past 6 years
C. Native/fluent speaker of Spanish

Candidates who do not meet the language proficiency levels above can take the language placement exams to demonstrate their level of proficiency. Competitive applicants typically attain a score of 50 on the Spanish College Level Examination Program CLEP exam or a score of Novice‐High on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL OPI).

Additional Language Information

Spanish language skills are critical to teaching entrepreneurship education in crowded classrooms with 35-55 students with very poor acoustics. Spanish skills are also critical to have credibility with business owners, to facilitate group meetings and teach business classes. Invitees must be actively learning Spanish prior to training to meet minimum language requirement to qualify for service.

All of your work as a Volunteer will be conducted in Spanish, and you will communicate with your host family, fellow community members, and government and nongovernmental organizations (NGO) representatives in Spanish; therefore, all Volunteers must demonstrate at least intermediate mid-level written and oral proficiency in Spanish prior to the completion of the 13-week Pre-Service Training.

Living Conditions

Nicaragua Volunteers live with homestay families for the duration of the 27 month service, to maximize community integration and ensure a safe and productive service.

We can accommodate couples whereby both partners work in the Entrepreneurship Education program or Health program, or one in each program. All couples (even those serving in the same program) will be separated during Pre-Service Training to aid in language and cultural acquisition. While couples will be living in different training towns for this 13 week period, there will be many opportunities to spend time together.

Not all Volunteers will have access to internet and/or cell phone coverage in their immediate sites. A significant number of sites have extremely hot temperatures (100+F) with high humidity during the rainy season and very dry, dusty conditions during the dry season.

Entrepreneurship Education Volunteers work in small towns (5,000-7,000 people) to medium size towns (15,000 + people) and commute to smaller rural communities to work at times. A variety of groceries are available in larger cities and the capital, but some Entrepreneurship Education Volunteers live in smaller sites where fresh vegetables are not easy to find, and variety is very limited (usually carrots, tomatoes, onions and cabbage). A vegetarian diet is challenging and a strict vegan diet is extremely challenging and will require time and monetary sacrifices and compromises. However, on the whole, Volunteers find that the Nicaraguan staple foods of gallo pinto (red beans and rice), corn tortillas, bread, freshly made cheeses, and widely available seasonal tropical fruits provide a great dietary base.

Entrepreneurship Education Volunteers will work with extremely limited teaching resources in public schools (no textbooks, no chalk or teaching supplies). You will be in charge of purchasing colored markers, colored pencils, and white board markers for your classes. Creativity and initiative is needed to improve teaching conditions. On average Volunteers work with four teachers (in some cases you may have more or less counterpart teachers assigned to you) and often travel to outlying schools in other communities. You can use public transportation to get to the majority of your schools, but in some cases you may need to walk or bike several miles round trip to the outlying schools.

Personal Appearance is important to people in Nicaragua. During pre-service training, the dress code is business casual. Following pre-service training, you will need to dress appropriately for work situations in your community. It is advised to take cues from your Nicaraguan colleagues, and dress to their standards of professionalism. Most female volunteers wear blouses or button up shirts with nice slacks or skirts and dresses that go past the knee. Male volunteers typically wear polo and button up shirts in the classroom and are expected to keep their hair short and facial hair trimmed and neat.

Volunteers with visible body piercings or tattoos may need strategies to conceal them. In Nicaragua, tattoos may be associated with criminal activity. Likewise, having visible body piercings or tattoos may make it more difficult to integrate into your host community. Keep in mind that Peace Corps/Nicaragua staff may ask you to be flexible with regard to personal appearance to facilitate integration in training and during your service.

While Nicaragua is generally tolerant, and the PC/Nicaragua office is an open, non-judgmental place for all Volunteers, values and mores concerning sexual orientation and gender identity may be different from those in the U.S. Volunteers will need to be mindful of cultural norms and use their judgment to determine the best way to approach sexual orientation and gender identity in their communities and host countries. Staff and currently serving Volunteers will address this topic during pre-service training, as well as provide support mechanisms for incoming trainees.

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Nicaragua: 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 Nicaragua

  • Nicaragua may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: insulin-dependent diabetes; requiring a psychiatrist for psychotropic medications support; 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: none identified.  
  • After arrival in Nicaragua, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot, to take daily or weekly medication to prevent malaria, and to receive mandatory immunizations.

Before you apply, please also review Important Medical Information for Applicants [PDF] to learn about other health conditions typically not supported in Peace Corps service.

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