OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Mobile training camp for Entrepreneurship

Everyone in Caldas is an Entrepreneur, that's something we learned in the inspiration phase. What if there was a service that trained people in the skills to turn those entrepreneurial instincts into viable social businesses?

Photo of Nathan Waterhouse
30 31

Written by

Because Caldas is so mountainous, a central place may not be the best solution, though that could be a component. What if there was a mobile training camp - like a travelling library - which would teach the principles of social business, how to find investors, set up your business, and provide ongoing mentorship?

The Mobile Camp
As well as providing teaching materials, courses, and resources for budding entrepreneurs to get started, The bus itself could act as a showcase for the best local talent, showing off the ideas and potential of the community.

"You could also imagine that the truck could even provide ways for local crafts to show and sell their stuff. Imagine women weaving in a village. They could give one or two samples of their work which could be exhibited in the truck." Thanks to Anne-Laure Fayard for this great addition.

This could be extended into a network which would act as a virtual incubator for new businesses so that new entrepreneurs could connect and share best practice.

"Another way to make it more 'sustainable' is to build a network of local mentors (established entrepreneurs who have gone through the training and who have proved to have a certain business acumen). These could help as local relays for when the mobile truck is elsewhere." Thanks to Sarah Fathallah's great suggestion here.

Also see attached these great photographs taken by Juan Cajiao of a square of a small village he met people from a "cooperativa" in Mallorca, Spain. 

"These people are looking for jobs for retiree (retirement money is not enough to live in many countries). They were also trying to gather "gente sabia" (wise people) to give them advise them management advise...When people wants to make things happen they are thirsty for advice!"  Juan Cajiao.

How do you envision this idea making money?

There's probably a few options: – Sell additional services on the side - e.g. fresh coffee :) or juice, or smoothies etc. – Provide higher value services such as consultancy to more established entrepreneurs, proceeds of which are reinvested in the outreach program

How does this idea create social impact, particularly around improving health?

By educating entrepreneurs with business skills so that they in turn can create impact. Plus what if the smoothie's / juices provided education about their health benefits?

Evaluation results

10 evaluations so far

1. How well do you think this concept considers life in low-income communities?

It is highly relevant to low-income communities - 40%

It is somewhat relevant to low-income communities - 50%

It does not significantly consider low-income communities - 10%

2. How effectively does this concept use social business principles (that is, it has social benefits for the community but does not pay dividends?)

This concept uses social business principles very well - 25%

This concept could be easily modified to incorporate social business elements - 75%

This concept does not connect with social business very well - 0%

3. How easy would it be to implement this concept?

Easy! This could be started immediately - 50%

It would take some time and planning – but I bet I could see progress in the near future - 50%

This concept would need extensive planning, partnerships & resources in place to get going - 0%

4. To what extent will this concept improve people’s health?

This concept would significantly improve people’s health and wellbeing - 12.5%

This concept seems like it might improve health, although maybe indirectly - 37.5%

This concept doesn’t really have much to do with health - 50%

5. Overall, how do you feel about this concept?

It rocked my world! - 40%

I liked it but preferred others - 40%

It didn’t get me overly excited - 20%


Join the conversation:

Photo of DeletedUser


Hi Nathan,

This seems like a very appropriate and nimble concept. One could easily imagine an energy best practices narrative as well. Maybe... the mobile camp could be run on biofuel, and collects vegetable oil (or other lipids) on its journeys from town town showcasing such techniques along the way. Or, solar panels on the roof that pivot and become a shade structure or awning w/signage. Or, the trailer broadcasts a point-to-multipoint WiFi node. Just thoughts that could complement a decentralized and mobile idea such as yours. Look forward to seeing this develop further!

View all comments