Over a year ago we had our first brainstorm session with Roy Budhjawan (international microfinance expert) on our microfinance initiative for small and growing entrepreneurs in Cuba. Since then the development of our non-profit foundation has gone through a roller coaster. Only four months after the official registration of our foundation in December 2015, we provided our first interactive workshop to a group of (starting) entrepreneurs in Havana, in close cooperation with ANEC.
Offering workshops and training to the Cuban entrepreneurs is a large component of our ambition to assist the Cubans and Cuban organisations with the development of the private sector. Needles to say that with the absence of a private sector for almost 60 years in Cuba, the Cubans are eager to learn how to run a small or medium enterprise, searching for tools that can help them run their business successfully or even apply for microcredits loans.
We realise that, next to the need for finance, training and coaching are highly important in enterprise development in general and in Cuba in particular. Today also the Cuban government acknowledges the importance of the development of the private sector for the Cuban economy as well as the creation of new jobs. This lead to last month’s statement by the government to legalise small and medium-sized private businesses in Cuba. A historical step in the economic reforms and development of the Cuban private sector, which might lead to even more opportunities for our foundation.
We are very proud to say that several inspiring and creative people as well as organisations have reached out to us in the last couple of months and are willing to go to Cuba to provide workshops to small and growing entrepreneurs in Cuba, as well as Cuban organisations that support the development of the private sector. We believe that the creative and innovative mind of the Cubans combined with the expertise and knowledge from people with hands-on experience can lead to great results.
We are delighted to inform you that we have scheduled several workshops till the end of this year (and we are in the process of scheduling even more workshops), which we will provide in close cooperation with ANEC and in their offices in Havana.
The coming months Stichting Credit4Cuba is accompanied by amongst others Elwin Giel, Gerben Beijneveld and Jos van der Sterren in Cuba, each of them very enthusiastic to share their expertise and experience with Cuban (starting) cuentapropistas.
- Elwin Giel, owner of The Penthouse in The Hague, will provide an interactive workshop on “The Power of Marketing”. We are very excited Elwin is joining us, since many cuentapropistas that we met, expressed their desire to learn more about this important subject. During his workshop he will provide tools and ideas that the participants will be able to use straight away when walking out of the ANEC class room.
- Gerben Beijneveld, professor at NHTV, will join us in August to provide interactive workshops on “Entrepreneurship and Innovation”. Gerben coordinates the entrepreneurship programs at the University of Breda, tutors on the same subject at the university and coaches students that intent to start their own small business in Holland. He is very equipped to mentor and assist Cuban people with the desire to start a small business or cuentapropistas that wish to further develop their business.
- Jos van der Sterren will join us for the second time this fall! Jos is a highly experienced consultant from Ayani BV – Inclusive Financial Sector Consultants, and accompanied us in November last year during our first research trip to Cuba. In October he will be in Cuba to provide workshops on “Financial Products for Entrepreneurs“, informing the entrepreneurs on microcredits and other financial products that might be of interest for them to run a successful business.
We are looking forward to working with Elwin, Gerben and Jos in Cuba! And there is more to come, so stay tuned! If you are interested in supporting small and growing entrepreneurs by providing a workshop or training in Cuba please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.