Spanish and Social Entrepreneurship: Week 1

SPAN 332 Spanish and Entrepreneurship Spring 2016 @AnnAbbott with a picture of a table and some printing work to convey the idea of creativity and work required by social entrepreneurship
We focus on social entrepreneurship that is linguistically and culturally appropriate, with 28 hours of service learning.
Week 1
by Ann Abbott


Martes: Los elementos del curso

Meta: saber por qué quieres dedicar tanto tiempo y esfuerzo a este curso.

Aprendizaje en la comunidad: 28 horas
I´ll start with the current situation in Champaign-Urbana's Latino community: anxiety over the announced ICE raids on a national level.
  1. Reading. Students skim a December article in the Washington Post about the announced raids.
  2. Video. Together we view this short video about knowing your rights. 
  3. Trabajar en la comunidad. I'll put students who took SPAN 232 together with students who didn't. But before they actually get together, they need to think of what they think the others should know, and the others have to come up with two questions to ask.

Emprendimiento social: nuestro tema

I want them to learn about entrepreneurship this semester as a process, not just a product. In other words, if we only focus on the final outcome--a new business/product/organization/program/etc.--we are missing out on the vital process that leads to that final product. Or not. Maybe it there will be no final product. Maybe the process will end in failure. But going through the process itself is entrepreneurship. Is entrepreneurial. It is a mindset, more than a product that I want them to walk away with.

The entrepreneurship process

So what does that process consist of? Three steps.
  1. Reconocer oportunidades. I always tell students that many opportunities are hidden within problems. If you can solve people's problems, then you have a good entrepreneurial opportunity. I also emphasize that they can recognize problems that non-Spanish speakers will never see.
  2. Buscar recursos. Even though we often think first about money when we talk about entrepreneurship, I want students to know that there are so many other resources that they can acquire and use. Trust. Spanish. Friendships. A good reputation. A degree from the University of Illinois. And so much more.
  3. Crear algo de valor. First you must "create." Entrepreneurship isn't just about ideas. Lots of people have lots of ideas. You have to do. To create. To prototype. To launch. To try. To fail. To redesign/rethink. To get to the end point. And secondly, it must be something that other people value. If you create something because you are enchanted by it, but you don't bother to see if other people want it, you are in trouble. Other people have to think that your product/service brings them value. Listen. Observe. Ask. Then you'll be sure you are creating something that people will actually purchase and/or use.
*I then put students into pairs to identify the three steps of this process in the video "Conoce tus derechos" from above. 

Combine CSL and social entrepreneurship

When we put these two things together--CSL with its deepening understanding of our local Latino Community and social entrepreneurship--we end up with something very special. Something very localized. Something very attuned to a tightly defined target market. 

Our programs and services will be linguistically-appropriate. That might be Spanish. That might be English. It might be Spanglish. And in the Champaign-Urbana, that might be Q’anjob’al.

They will be culturally-appropriate. They will be offered in a convenient location for that community. In a trusted location because there is a lot of mistrust in our most vulnerable communities. They will be offered at a time that is convenient.

*In pairs again: Is this video linguistically and culturally appropriate?

Jueves: Nuestra comunidad

Meta: decidir dónde vas a trabajar y poner tu información en el wiki.


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