By the UNDP Peru Accelerator Lab
CREATING CREANDO (Part 1): A learning community for migrant entrepreneurs is born
2 de Agosto de 2023
The history of humanity is written by migrations. However, this doesn’t make it any easier or natural for those forced to leave their countries to survive or to look for better living conditions. The UNDP Peru Prosperity and Poverty Reduction team jointly with the Accelerator Lab, with the intention of promoting research and development processes for projects with improved value propositions, embarked on a learning journey from the perspective of the migrant entrepreneur.
This way, through a series of strategic activities, in 2021 we set the foundation for the first edition of CREANDO, an initiative that seeks to strengthen and boost the Venezuelan refugees and migrants and the Peruvian host population’s entrepreneurship skills and resilience. Talent has no borders, and we will show you why in this series of three blog posts.
A road of empathy
Empathizing and connecting with our users’ deepest needs and motivations is probably one of the essential activities in every design process, because this knowledge becomes the core of our value proposition. For CREANDO, we organized different formats of inspirational encounters with Venezuelan entrepreneurs living in Peru that allowed us to build specific user profiles.
Guided by our curiosity and intuition, and with an ethnographic approach, we participated in in-depth interviews, co-creation workshops and dialogues with an enthusiastic group of Venezuelan volunteers from the NGO Veneactiva. What we found was more than inspiring: The creative power and resilience of those migrants who decide to start the uncertain path of entrepreneurship, as a viable alternative for their labor insertion in the host country.
Based on this research we built four user profiles that reflect different archetypes of the migrant entrepreneur:
We found that migrants and entrepreneurs shared a common trait: Resilience. The same skills you need to surf uncertainty as you start a new business are the same you need to succeed in a new country and different society. This insight led us to believe in the need for a new positive narrative and course of action, where migrants are portrayed as enthusiastic and strong problem solvers, sources of inspiration, shapers of their future, stories of success and wealth and successful citizens.
Main business categories
The sensemaking process with our users revealed specific industries where most migrant entrepreneurs are finding opportunities and entry points into their new community. These eight categories show us the industries where migrants are currently working but also which industries are positively perceived as valuable by the host population:
- Health and Wellness
- Beauty and Personal Care
- Nursery, Babysitting and Pet Sitting.
- Consultancy & Learning
- Design & Arts
- Common trades
How should a program that strengthens entrepreneurship capabilities for the “Osdys” and “Luisas” (users 2 & 3) in Peru look like? With the information found, we determined CREANDO’s main characteristics:
“CREANDO: An online learning community designed to boost entrepreneurship and social cohesion through an energetic and motivational learning journey, actionable and easy to follow, focused on resilience and networking opportunities.”
- Shouldn’t be only about classes but a full program of diverse, multi-format learning activities
- Shouldn’t have only live sessions but a hybrid at-your-own-pace model.
- Shouldn’t be a platform of general contents but on-demand specific training sessions.
- Shouldn’t be a theoretical course but a community of practitioners sharing their best practices and hacks.
We chose to address our user's need for belonging by putting forward a journey to trigger collective exchange and participatory learning.
Branding: A co-creation process
Through a co-creation process, we prototyped the program’s brand, set up the initiative’s core values, and fine-tuned the key core messages. Using a brand’s philosophy structure helped us properly re-position the program and its new characteristics towards participants with UNDP internal partners and donors, focusing on its key assets and ideals. Framing the brand as a social movement with the potential to demonstrate a “belief” - that talent doesn't have borders - allowed us to reach an ecosystem of allies that promoted the initiative generating organic content and interactions. .
The improved program’s content and campaign launched in 2022 reached 630 registered participants and 15 partner organizations. This year, in its improved second iteration, we reached 2120 registered and an average of 180 participants connected for 18 live sessions distributed in six weeks. From a design perspective, a better and deeper understanding of users and their needs, as well as the consequent improvement of product and service characteristics, resulted in a desirable value proposition that naturally boosted participation and support from key stakeholders such as academia, private and public organizations, and the existing social entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Do you want to find out more about the CREANDO’s learning roadmap and the partners that made it happen? Read about it in our second blog post here.