Innovate, Communicate, and Keep Up! Lessons from YLAI TechCamp Bolivia

How do you ignite the creativity of young entrepreneurs? In April 2017, 65 young leaders, including YLAI Fellows alumni and members of the YLAI Network, gathered in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, for two days with experts from across the region to learn about technology solutions and strategies to tackle their business challenges.

We asked Elisa Muñoz, founder of e-commerce startup D’Cuero and 2016 YLAI Fellow from Ecuador, to share her perspective what she learned from YLAI TechCamp Bolivia and the top things every young entrepreneur can use to take their organization forward. See what she had to say.

Based on what you’ve learned at YLAI TechCamp Bolivia, what are three things you think every young entrepreneur in Latin America and the Caribbean should do to strengthen their organization?

  • Be innovative. Find what makes you different, what makes you tasty. Distinguish your organization from the rest out there. Why would somebody buy from you or believe in what you do?
  • Communicate your “why” efficiently. Learn how to properly transmit your essence and segment who your audience is. Once you identify your target market and create a community of people who believe in your ideas, you have a solid base to grow from.
  • Keep up with technology. Even though we live in Third World countries, there is no excuse not to be always learning, reading and asking about new technologies that could benefit your business and facilitate your life! In today’s competitive world, the one who does not innovate simply does not survive.

What is the biggest change you will make as an entrepreneur or within your organization based on what you learned at the TechCamp?

Info gathering and analysis. It is very important to constantly get and review data from your clients or potential customers. Now I am aware that I have to set a time weekly or at least monthly to check the statistics about people’s response to my business. There are a lot of tools that were given to us at the TechCamp which will help my organization to better set and manage this goal. Having enough feedback is so important to know what you are doing right and what needs to be improved.

What advice do you have for other members of the YLAI Network who are looking for solutions to their business challenges?

Be creative. When you are just starting, you don’t have a lot of money to pay experts to solve your problems. Then I advise you to do some research yourself and try to find simple solutions. Everything you need is on the internet today, and technology is supposed to facilitate your life, not complicate it. If you don’t want to spend much, there are always free tools or cheaper alternatives. It just takes a little more time and dedication. Don’t give up if you can’t find the solution right away. Be patient and always ask for help. You and your team may not be able to solve every challenge, so it’s also a good idea to find a mentor or any outsider who can serve as a guide.

Did you reconnect with other YLAI Fellows you met during the TechCamp experience? How do you think staying active in the broader YLAI Network will strengthen your professional life?

Indeed! Networking is so important for all kinds of organizations and especially for entrepreneurs. You never know if the person you “quickly” met the other day could become your next partner, client, adviser or simply link you to the exact contact you are looking for to help you! The power of YLAI Network is amazing. Not only do you get to meet inspiring people from all over the continent, but you can also learn from them and motivate other people in your community. La unión hace la fuerza! (Unity is strength!)

You can keep up with Elisa and D’Cuero here:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/mariaelisa.munozt
https://www.facebook.com/dcueroshoes/

Instagram:

@maelisamunoz
@dcueroshoes

Twitter:

@maelisam
@dcueroshoes

Interested in learning more about opportunities like YLAI TechCamp Bolivia? Make sure you are signed up to be a YLAI Network member!

Este artículo también está disponible en español.