U.S. Embassy announces business exchange for 28 Central Amercian businesses.
Recognizing that jobs created by fast-growing Salvadoran and Guatemalan businesses are one of the best ways to help El Salvador and Guatemala thrive, the U.S. Embassies in San Salvador and Guatemala City, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) in Washington, DC, and the U.S.-based non-profit organization Bpeace (Business Council for Peace) are pleased to announce an open competition. The new program will benefit 18 small and medium-sized businesses in El Salvador and 10 small and medium-sized businesses in Guatemala, and will include travel to the United States to improve competitiveness and business consulting from U.S. experts who will visit Central America.
The 2014-2015 Bpeace Executive Business Exchange is part of the U.S. Department of State’s Professional Fellows Program, a two-way, global exchange designed to promote mutual understanding, enhance leadership skills, and build lasting and sustainable partnerships among growth-minded Salvadoran and Guatemalan business owners and business experts from the United States.
HOW TO APPLY
* You will receive a personal link to an online application within one business day of having registered.
** Only English applications are allowed.
If you are one of the 18 Salvadoran business owners or 10 Guatemalan business owners who are invited into the Bpeace Executive Business Exchange, you will benefit from:
1. Expanding your management skills and business connections. Bpeace will introduce you to other Salvadoran or Guatemalan business owners, U.S. host companies, and visiting Bpeace’s U.S. experts who will share their management best practices.
2. Acquiring insight into business practices employed by U.S. businesses in your industry sector. The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Citizen Exchanges will bring you to the U.S. for four weeks in 2014 and pay for your travel costs. During this trip, Bpeace will match you with U.S. businesses in your industry for up to 15 days of on-site sharing of business practices, industry trends, problem solving, and strategies to expand and create jobs.
3. Sharing your experience and learning from others. Attend a global conference during the last four days of your 2014 four-week visit to the U.S., you will attend the Professional Fellows Congress in Washington, DC with 240 professionals from 50 countries.
4. On-premise advice at your place of business in El Salvador or Guatemala from visiting U.S. business experts for up to 10 days at no cost to you. These experts will work with you on a specific project to improve your competitiveness.
ELIGIBILITY for the Bpeace Executive Business Exchange Program
The program is open to business owners in El Salvador or Guatemala who:
- Own all or part of an existing private business that has been operating formally for more than two years in El Salvador or Guatemala.
- Is a Salvadoran or a Guatemalan citizen, residing in their country of citizenship, and is over the age of 25.
- For Guatemala only, have a business located in Guatemala City or its neighboring municipalities.
- Provide full-time employment to at least 10 Salvadorans or Guatemalans.
- Work in manufacturing, services, technology, construction, hospitality, tourism, and food processing among others. Firms in Agriculture and Retail Commerce are not eligible to apply. Bpeace does not work with associative groups or cooperatives.
- Generated annual 2012 sales ranging from $100,000 to $2 million.
- Are able to travel to the U.S. for 4 weeks in 2014 or send a number two business deputy to represent the business.
- The traveler has an advanced working knowledge of English in order to communicate independently with U.S. business people.
ABOUT U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE EXCHANGE PROGRAMS
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Exchange supports exchange programs that increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. In 2012, nearly 500 foreign fellows, including legislators, entrepreneurs, health professionals, journalists, teachers, community activists, scientists, government officials, and lawyers, came to the United States under the Professional Fellows Program. More than 300 American participants will participate in reciprocal fellowship programs overseas this year under the program. Approximately 50,000 individuals take part annually in exchange programs managed by the U.S. Department of State.
Bpeace has been successfully increasing the competitiveness of Salvadoran businesses since 2011 and began operations in Guatemala in 2013.
Bpeace (Business Council for Peace) believes the path to peace is lined with jobs. Bpeace works with entrepreneurs in conflict-affected countries to scale their businesses, create significant employment for all, and expand the economic power of women. More jobs mean less violence.®
Bpeace is a New York City-based non-profit coalition of 350 business volunteers, including experts from U.S. companies like PricewaterhouseCoopers, Wal-Mart, IBM, Morgan Stanley and specialists from many industries including food processing and manufacturing.
Bpeace offers pro-bono access to its experts, capacity development, technical assistance, networks and proven methodologies to help small and growing businesses (Bpeace calls them Fast Runners) expand their businesses, increase profitability, create new employment, retain and attract customers, and access markets and capital.
Bpeace tailors an 18-month program for each entrepreneur—a mix of consulting, training, mentoring, out-of-country apprenticeships and business site visits, employee technical training, branding and marketing, and networking opportunities.