Design Thinking Resources

Calling All Venezuelan Women Entrepreneurs

Designed for Venezuelan women entrepreneurs who are based in South Florida, FOCUS: Mujeres Emprendedoras is a 12-week program that will help them validate the business model of their early-stage ventures.

With the support of the CISNEROS Group, the program helps participants strengthen their communication skills, ease the transition into the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, and expand their market opportunities.

Leveraging different methodologies such as lean startup, design thinking, and business model canvas, participants will test their prototypes with potential customers and challenge assumptions about their business model.

Greyla Alvarez is the Founder and CEO of Namika and Benchlab and was a participant in Cohort 1 of the program. She shares the details of her experience:

“The FOCUS program is one of the best things that has happened to me in the last couple of years. It eased my introduction to entrepreneurship life in the US and presented me with so many opportunities that are still coming my way. It also helped me find my tribe: Immigrant Venezuelan women wanting to be successful, willing to learn, and eager to support each other in the process.

I started my business in February 2019 and participated in the FOCUS program in September of the same year. I couldn’t ask for better timing! Back then I was still in the early stages of my business trying to figure out the best way to serve my customers, feeling anxious about owning a business in the US, and worried I had the right tools to be successful at it.

During this program, I strengthened my general knowledge of entrepreneurship, learned about tools to define my business, and developed connections with fellow entrepreneurs and mentors. But I would say that the most important lesson learned was on how to focus (for real) on my customer to provide a meaningful and impactful service, and therefore to achieve the results I expect for my business.

After the program, I felt more prepared to tackle the challenges of being an entrepreneur and with more confidence in what I can achieve. I also felt like I had a new safety net with the support network we built among my fellow entrepreneurs and mentors.

I will be forever grateful to the Cisneros organization and the Idea Center for letting me be a part of this program.”

We echo Greyla’s expression of gratitude.

A few years ago, when we began our collaboration with Cisneros Media, we shared a common vision for elevating Venezuelan Women Entrepreneurs. As educators of students and incubator of ideas, our mission was in alignment with the goals articulated by the Cisneros team. Today, as then, we remain committed to providing access to resources and to helping these businesswomen validate their early-stage venture.

If you want to learn more about this opportunity, feel free to contact Stefania Gioino, Program Coordinator, if you have any questions at sgioino@mdc.edu. Stefania and The Idea Center team are dedicated to making your experience memorable and meaningful.