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Appears in:
Pages: 9772-9780
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2017.2320

Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain

STRENGTHENING THE ENTREPRENEURSHIP CAPACITY IN COLOMBIAN REFUGEES LIVING IN GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR - A CASE STUDY

E. Armijos, M. Armijos

Escuela Superior Politecnica del Litoral (ECUADOR)
The migration of people who do not feel safe in their native country increases due to several factors. Among the reasons for migration, there are negative factors such as: lack of opportunities for career progress, limited income, unemployment, persecution, internal conflict, and natural disasters. Hence, the situation of refugees who live in a foreign country has turned into a real tragedy worldwide. For instance, Colombia is a country which has experienced insurgent activity from guerrillas over a long period of time. Therefore, thousands of Colombians have taken the painful decision of leaving their country in search of better living conditions. Most of the refugee population lives in urban areas of big cities where they face challenges in the formal labor market. According the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), some refugees run the risk of exploitation. The UNHCR 2014 annual report mentions that one of the objectives is “foster integration of the refugees in their resident countries.” The report highlights that 98% of the refugees in Ecuador are Colombians. In this context, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) foundation, “a charitable organization which assists people whose lives and freedom are at risk,” requested assistance of the university where this study took place. The main request from HIAS chairwoman was to provide training and advice in business management and entrepreneurship to a group of fourteen Colombian refugees. For this purpose, the university center of applied social development CEDESA (acronym in Spanish) created a project for the fourteen Colombian refugees where undergraduate students would have an important role. Coincidentally, as part of the law of higher education institutions in Ecuador (Reglamento de Regimen Academico, 2016) students who graduate from universities must complete at least 160 hours of professional practice in society linked projects in order to graduate. This research study employed qualitative case study research methods. Thus, a carefully designed set of workshops was the key element in the training process. Undergraduate facilitators prepared interactive workshops where the refugees/beneficiaries had to apply the knowledge acquired. Refugees had to practice and perform the activities related to the workshops and the business field. On the other hand, the students visited the different businesses that belonged to the refugees in their exact location to provide onsite assistance for improvement. From the fourteen beneficiaries who finished the training program, twelve or 86% ended with operating businesses. The refugees' businesses belonged to diverse areas such as: food, jewelry, clothes sewing, grocery store and water purifiers. Undergraduate student/facilitators learned about the struggle and exclusion that refugees face which are not visible. On the other hand, refugees had the opportunity of enhancing their businesses practice. As part of the process, refugees organized a fair where they offered their products to the university community. However, there were some constraints such as the transportation of the refugees to the university campus, the limited budget assigned for the project, lack of finance assistance for businesses’ sustainability. The information presented in this case study is new in the educational field because it refers to the combination of higher education institutions and social inclusion of refugees.
@InProceedings{ARMIJOS2017STR,
author = {Armijos, E. and Armijos, M.},
title = {STRENGTHENING THE ENTREPRENEURSHIP CAPACITY IN COLOMBIAN REFUGEES LIVING IN GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR - A CASE STUDY},
series = {11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-8491-2},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2017.2320},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2017.2320},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {6-8 March, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {9772-9780}}
TY - CONF
AU - E. Armijos AU - M. Armijos
TI - STRENGTHENING THE ENTREPRENEURSHIP CAPACITY IN COLOMBIAN REFUGEES LIVING IN GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR - A CASE STUDY
SN - 978-84-617-8491-2/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2017.2320
PY - 2017
Y1 - 6-8 March, 2017
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2017 Proceedings
SP - 9772
EP - 9780
ER -
E. Armijos, M. Armijos (2017) STRENGTHENING THE ENTREPRENEURSHIP CAPACITY IN COLOMBIAN REFUGEES LIVING IN GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR - A CASE STUDY, INTED2017 Proceedings, pp. 9772-9780.
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