Karen Carvajalino , Colombia
Karen founded The Biz Nation with her sisters Daniela and Stephanie to increase entrepreneurial spirit among young people and have reached over 500,000 people so far. They have a user base that spans six countries in Latin America, using content devised by teachers from eight countries. The Biz Nation has introduced a new way of teaching students in Colombia and beyond, using their research based methodology to increase attention and interest in the classroom. The Carvajalino sisters have been entrepreneurial trailblazers being only six, seven and eight when they started their first business. They received a different kind of education from their parents and so wanted to bring their passion for innovation and entrepreneurship to the wider education system in Latin America. The sisters developed an e-learning platform for people to access their content remotely, reaching over half a million users from the Spanish speaking world. Users interact with a high tech, easy to use platform where they can learn skills such as coding and social media management to help them generate income. Framing these learnings as business opportunities helps to foster innovation and creativity.
The Biz Nation has developed into a social business where individual schools and users can pay for training sessions and access to the online platform. The Biz Nation representatives are paid to deliver training sessions to schools and teachers. Trained teachers are given access to the online learning platform so that they can replicate The Biz Nation methodology to effectively implement in class. The online learning platform features learning modules written by industry experts as well as content produced internally. It also includes features such as a test to determine your learning style and a business plan generator. The Biz Nation donates 20% of its revenue to funding underserved areas in Latin America where people do not have access to the internet or computers.
The Biz Nation works to change the mindset of their students, and encourage them to think more entrepreneurially. The impact of this training can be demonstrated by a case study on the Cartagena International School. Out of 40 graduates, 17 of them graduated with a formally registered business, with a further 10 developing start-ups in the pre-registration phase. At least five of these businesses have hired one person or more, which demonstrates the wider benefits of completing The Biz Nation programme.