"We sell online courses focused on education that can help our students change their lives, break their poverty cycle, advance in their professional careers, and generate more income, whether it is finding a better job, finding a job, or creating their own through entrepreneurship.”
- Karen Carvajalino
Karen Carvajalino - Founder of The Biz Nation - Columbia
2022 WE Empower Finalist, Latin America and Caribbean
Karen Carvajalino and her sisters are on a mission to empower the people who need it most. Since their youth, the three have shared an entrepreneurial spirit, and learned many lessons along the way. Now, through The Biz Nation, they are paving the way for everyone to learn the necessary skills to develop professionally and navigate the world of business.
Skills for everyone
The Biz Nation is designed with accessibility in mind. Their tailored courses are available in both Spanish and English and are designed to enhance anyone's skills, regardless of prior experience. "The Biz Nation has its own LMS platform that contains 120 virtual courses and users in 9 Latin American countries with the ability to create personalized content," Carvajalino says. Operating completely virtually reduces the negative ecological impacts from the Biz Nation and allows courses to be affordable for nearly everyone. Much of the revenue is then put towards course design and incorporating the most effective methods to promote learning retention. By eliminating anything unnecessary for efficient development, classes can be made accessible almost anytime and anywhere. All of this has enabled the Biz Nation to educate over half a million people without requiring unfeasible investments of time, travel, training, or money.
Breaking the cycle
The primary focus of The Biz Nation is to empower disadvantaged demographics, directly supporting SDG 1 Reducing Poverty. Carvajalino explains, "With our social enterprise model, we sell online courses everywhere around the world and we use part of our income in order to create these special programs in underserved communities focusing especially on female and young populations." The Biz Nation is designed to empower the people who need it the most, and would struggle to access similar quality resources anywhere else. Students are able to develop professionally in the areas that especially interest and benefit them, helping them to escape poverty or professional stagnancy. Beyond simply increasing income, Carvajalino is working to support individuals' independence by transforming education.
By women, for women
Along with SDG 4 Quality Education, the core of the Biz Nation is equally aligned with SDG 5 Gender Equality. Of the hundreds of thousands of students in the training programs, 70% are women. Plus, according to Carvajalino, "The Biz Nation has an all-female board of directors, its founders are women, management positions are held by women, and 80% of employees are women." Not only is the Biz Nation successfully reaching underserved populations, but the organization is also well-equipped to empathize with students and facilitate the most important aspects of the enterprise. "The Biz Nation develops training programs with a gender focus," she says, "allowing women to be trained in productive and essential skills that prepare them to become leaders." Carvajalino and her sisters have come a long way from the $15 funding for their first entrepreneurial venture as kids. Now, they are creating the tools for women and youth around the world to follow their own passions and acquire valuable skills for their own success and a better future for everyone.
By Forest Burdette, WE Empower Intern