Alumni Enrichment Seminar: “Social Inclusion for Economic Empowerment”

Location: Quito, Ecuador,

Dates: October 5-8, 2014

Purpose: This seminar will bring together alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs to promote intra-regional networking and collaboration on overcoming barriers to economic opportunity and entrepreneurism to promote social inclusion in their societies.

Deadline to apply: August 7, 2014.

Sent the application to: [email protected]

Candidates should be:

  • Successful entrepreneurs who can offer best practices and serve as mentors;
  • Emerging entrepreneurs who could be mentees (preference given to those working with indigenous communities, people of African descent, youth and women);
  • Social entrepreneurs who engage with the populations related to the seminar;
  • Activists working to secure greater social inclusion in the economies of the region;
  • Representatives from national, state, or local government agencies of labor or commerce working on promoting social inclusion; and
  • Advisers or directors from Small Business Development Centers.


Seminar objectives:

  • Promote intra-regional alumni networking and collaboration to promote social inclusion and overcome barriers to economic opportunity and entrepreneurism;
  • Identify best practices related to the themes of the seminar that participants will later implement in their local communities; and
  • Identify areas of potential engagement by the U.S. to help facilitate greater opportunity for social inclusion and entrepreneurship in WHA.

Rationale:  There will be both interactive roundtables and panels where alumni will share their successes and challenges as well as sessions led by a professional facilitator.  Sessions will focus on:

  1. Strategy building to overcome challenges to opening and owning a small business;
  2. Identifying best practices for socially inclusive outreach
  3. Using social media and other online platforms to reach non-traditional audiences for your business;
  4. Tapping into ethno-business and utilizing cultural capital to create sustainable businesses;
  5. Utilizing tools to formalize your business;
  6. Understanding the value added of supply chain diversity;
  7. Capacity building, policies and practices for recruiting, hiring and training a diverse pool of employees;
  8. Fostering public-private partnerships that promote social inclusion; and
  9. Developing individual action plans to promote socially inclusive practices.


Seminar Funding: The Embassy will cover costs for international airfare, incidental travel expenses (airport shuttles/taxis, visas, meals, etc.), and lodging (participants will arrive on October 5 and depart on the evening of October 8 (or the morning of October 9, depending on availability of flights).


Program Requirements: Participants are expected to fully participate in the seminar are expected to attend all sessions and organized activities.  Nominees should be aware that they are candidates for an intensive seminar and there will be little time for personal pursuits unrelated to the program.

IMPORTANT NOTE: An ideal candidate will not only actively participate in the seminar, but will be able to successfully disseminate information learned, as well as partner with their respective post on alumni activities relating to social inclusion and economic opportunities.

Seminar Language: The seminar will be conducted in Spanish.

Alumni Personal Statement: Each nominee will complete a brief personal statement in Spanish (one page maximum) to explain their motivations, goals, and expectations and why he wants to participate in the seminar. This statement should include a summary of their experience and examples of their work relating to the nine topics previously listed. He or she should also describe how collaboration with their fellow participants would promote social inclusion and entrepreneurism within the region.