A quick run-through of all the latest Business Brigades updates from Panama:
-Purdue University Business Brigades helped to finish the construction of the Torti Abajo Community Cooperativa in the beginning of August. They constructed the walls and doors of the structure.
-Rutgers University Business Brigades donated paint supplies to paint the Cooperativa bright blue! Irena (Treasurer of the Cooperativa and kindergarten teacher in Torti Abajo) and some students from her kindergarten class helped the group paint.
– Rutgers University Business Brigade saw 5 families in Torti Abajo. Each family either already owned a business or possessed an entrepreneurial spirit and sought business development assistance from the group. The group helped write a business plan for a potential chicken business, performed a cost-benefit analysis for a calling card business, and created pamphlets about taking on a loan and opening a savings account.
– The Torti Abajo Cooperative executive board is waiting to receive 20 hours of training from IPACOOP (the Panamanian government agency that registers and provides oversight for all cooperatives in the country). The training will empower the members with the skills necessary to effectively run the community bank.
– Since May, three university Chapters have participated in the new Business Brigades Model. An important part of the model is that the group is able to perform a diagnostic of another community in Eastern Panama. This diagnostic serves as an opportunity for the students to see how Global Brigades evaluates potential new communities to receive Business Brigades. In May, Texas A&M visited Piriati Embera. In August Purdue University went to Embera Puru and Rutgers University met with the leaders and artisan women of Ipeti Choco (Ipeti Embera).