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The 2009 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor stated that Guatemala was the sixth highest in the world and fourth in Latin America for the Rate of Early Entrepreneurship. Today you'll hear three entrepreneurs talk about their journeys into entrepreneurship and their current work in Guatemala.
Luis Aguilar is an Ashoka fellow and social entrepreneur who founded Bakabs. Bakabs is a network of small and medium tourism enterprises focusing on rural areas of Guatemala. Hotels, restaurants, transport and entertainment venues work together with artists and artisans creating economic, social and cultural development in the Guatemalan countryside.
Mark Jacobson worked in the hospitality industry and then became a business advisor and investor in several Central American firms. He has a BS from Cornell University. Four years ago, he co-founded Pomona Impact and now works to grow an impact investment 'ecosystem' that will provide financial and technical support to early stage impact businesses in Meso America.
Maria Rodriguez graduated from Istmo University, Guatemala City and in 2011 completed her Sustainable Rural Development Masters degree from Flacso Guatemala. In 2007 she founded ByoEarth, a social venture that promotes vermiculture in vulnerable areas of Latin America. She was an Unreasonable Fellow and in 2012 she completed the Agora Partnerships business accelerator. She currently works in partnership with Technoserve and Fundación Junkabal to promote vermiculture as a sustainable livelihood for women in extreme poverty.
In 2007, Rodriguez founded ByoEarth, a social venture that promotes vermiculture in fringe vulnerable areas of Latin America. In the rural and urban communities of women, Rodriguez has a vermiculture facility with more than 75 million red worms to produce organic fertilizer using coffee industry waste as feedstock for the operation.
Dawn Del Russo
Dawn Del Russo has a hot and heavy love affair with luxe style. Dawn's fashion tips have been in national print InStyle, Cosmo, Real Simple, Life & Style, and US Weekly magazine. Russo is the author of " 101 Glam Girl Ways To An Ultra Chic Lifestyle.” Dawn is known for her ability to find the most sought after pieces as a stylist for her model, celebrity, and high profile clients. She attributes her designer taste from travel abroad while seeking unique pieces for her boutique, Bella Dawn.
Dr. Tess Mauricio
Dr. Tess Mauricio, is known as “America’s Favorite Dermatologist” in her cosmetic dermatology clinics located in Southern California, and in her work consulting on television shows such as the Doctors, Rachael Ray and the Talk. She sees all kinds of women with various skin problems. Dr. Tess is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of University of California San Diego and Stanford University School of Medicine. She is an internationally respected educator and leader in her field.
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