The College of Business took 18 students to Peru to explore the entrepreneurial and economic context content of one of Latin America’s fastest growing economies. The purpose of this Spring Break Study Abroad program, one of two this year, was to explore how economic and policy decisions can be used to foster entrepreneurial thinking and action in a way that can help the economic development of a community, or a country.
During the trip students visited U.S.-based firms doing business in Peru, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and Unilever, as well as notable Peru-based entrepreneurial start-ups Shattel and Cinepapaya. The group learned about fair trade in the cocoa industry and actually made their own chocolate, and they spent a day in Machu Picchu, a 15th century Inca site that’s been named one of the seven wonders of the world.
Instructor of Entrepreneurship and Management Jose Gonzales, who accompanied the students on the trip along with Associate Professor of Economics Dr. Marieta Velikova, said every study abroad program he has led has the goal of exploring the economic landscape of the country through the lens of entrepreneurship. “In the case of Peru, being it’s one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America, our students were able to experience first-hand what doing business abroad is about,” he said. “Whether looking at a large multinational, like Unilever, and learning how to customize the product offering to fit the Peruvian market, or Cine Papaya, one of the most prominent start-ups in Latin America, our students got to see first hand what opportunity looks like in an emerging economy.”
The trip and subsequent assignments allowed students to complete three credit hours in either International Business (INB 3950), Economics or Social Science (ECO 3950) or Entrepreneurship (ETP 3950).