Entrepreneurship for families with disability

The previous blog spoke about an entrepreneurship project with students. This blog presents an entrepreneurship project in FANDIC that involves people with disability and their families. This project received funding from the Rotary Club of Calgary South.

The purpose of this micro-enterprise project is to provide an employment opportunity for disadvantaged people. Selected individuals were invited to participate in training offered by the Chamber of Commerce on topics such as entrepreneurship, administration and finance. Some used the training to improve their own businesses; others are involved in this micro-business project. Many save their earnings in a Gema Savings Group (more about that later).

The sales booth in the Mesa de los Santos. Pictured from the right are Marcela (project coordinator), Bryanda (Fandic treasurer), Adela (vendor), Marlene (CAPD), and Bob (CAPD and member of the Calgary South Rotary Club).

The booth sells Sweets and Chocolates Caballero, products developed by Isidoro Caballero, the ‘chocolate’ man I wrote about last year and whose products are now registered with the Colombian food and drug agency. Adela, the vendor, is a member in the Gema savings group in her zone.

Products on sale at the booth.

A variety of items are available at the booth including candies, chocolate for making chocolate milk (with and without sweetener), chocolates filled with fruit and coconut, and FANDIC’s pound cake.

Andres (Fandic driver) demonstrates the compactness of the booth. The booth fits into the backpack he is wearing and weighs very little.

Andres sets up the booths in the Sunday Farmer’s markets while Marcela goes through inventory with the vendor. FANDIC currently has booths at 2 Sunday markets and a booth in a 15-day market to sell handmade products. Their plan is to continue increasing the number of booths, thus providing opportunity for more people.

Marcela and Andres (right) pose with the vendor, Carmen, and her daughter Myra (left).

Myra, a young client of FANDIC, receives on-the-job training in sales from her mother. Her enthusiastic approach to life has won the hearts of fellow vendors. For her mother Carmen, this micro business is an opportunity to add to the meager family income. She is also part of a Gema savings group.

Mrya provides information on the products I am buying – a box of fruit-filled chocolates and chocolate for making hot chocolate.

You bet I’ll be back to buy more chocolate goodies next week!