Learn and apply general marketing strategies in the context of small businesses in rural Central America.
Students are guided by our local economic development professionals and mentors from leading consulting firms to develop and design marketing initiatives for small businesses in rural resource-limited communities in Panama. Through client interviews, industry research, cultural sharing, and utilization of our marketing templates, students create, design, and present marketing collateral to drive business growth.
Sample deliverables include:
In addition to our skill-based learning objectives, building cultural competence is integrated into the course to increase the quality of services and improve outcomes with community partners.
Customize your Business TeleSquad by selecting a set of modules. Explore available modules below:
Module 1: Introductions and Program Overview
Coordinator and student introductions along with a presentation on Squads Abroad (SA) and the work of our parent organization Global Brigades (GB) in Panama. Self-paced activity: Group reviews Panama economic development program materials in the context of GB’s Holistic Model for community development.
Module 2: Small Businesses in Indigenous and Rural Panama
Our small business expert in Panama talks about the culture and business environment for indigenous and rural Panamanian communities. Self-Paced Activity: Reading Material: Can we Know Better? Reflections for Development (Chambers, 2017)
Module 3: Globalization and Market Opportunities
Talk with GB Economic Development Expert to learn about Panama’s unique role in globalization and both the economic and social effects as it relates to market opportunities for microenterprises. Self-paced activity: Group reflects on strategic market opportunities within the context of Panama’s fast-growing economy.
Module 4: Business Selection
Coordinator presents potential businesses and supports students to choose which they will work with. Self-paced activity: Group reviews business information and informs staff of selection.
Module 5: Marketing Plan Overview
Coordinator walks through the template Marketing Plan Framework that the group will develop with the business leaders. Self-paced activity: Group reviews Marketing Plan framework further
Module 6: Initial Meeting Preparation
Coordinator presents business information, including a virtual community tour and current marketing initiatives that the business is implementing. Self-paced Activity: Students review the Spanish business packet and Executive Summary template to prepare their initial questions for the business.
Module 7: Initial Meeting with Entrepreneur
Introductory meeting between entrepreneur and group to build relationship and have cultural exchange. Self-paced Activity: Group reviews notes from meeting and divides into teams and assigns tasks by sections of the marketing plan and any unique marketing deliverables (i.e. brochures or a website).
Module 8: Mentor Session with Professional Consultant
Mentor and SA coordinator help prepare the group to ask the most strategic questions during the consultation day. Self-paced Activity: Group prepares and assigns questions to ask business clients based on mentor guidance.
Module 9: Second Meeting with Entrepreneur
Live virtual session with the entrepreneur to answer questions and gather information for the marketing plan and deliverables. Self-paced Activity: Group begins work to create a business plan utilizing Canvas Model.
Modules 10, 11 and 12: Marketing Plan and Deliverable Creation
Two working sessions with coordinators to answer questions and help students create their marketing plan and any additional deliverables. Self-paced Activity: Continuing working in teams to finalize.
Module 13: Marketing Plan Submission and Final Mentor Feedback
Group submits final marketing plan and deliverables for final feedback from mentors. Self-paced Activity: Make any last edits to presentation and deliverables based on mentor feedback.
Module 14: Presentation to Entrepreneur
Group presents via a video conference to the client with the coordinator providing translation. Group receives feedback from the client. Up to 2 hrs. Self-paced Activity: Group decides to make a donation to capitalize any loans needed to execute a marketing plan. Students complete the evaluation survey and prepare final reflections. Procure cooking materials and watch an instructional cooking video.
Module 15: Cultural Activity and Project Celebration
Squads coordinator debriefs the group on feedback from the entrepreneur and reflects on personal and professional development. The team celebrates and shows off how their local dish turned out. Self-paced Activity: Group reviews monitoring and evaluation reports
Students will be included in Squadsd Abroad’s regular newsletters and receive project updates and overall monitoring and evaluation of our programs.
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