ISSN: 1659-2751



Strengthening Youth Entrepreneurship in Rural Areas of Costa Rica


The goal of this research project was to guide the process to strengthen youth entrepreneurship in rural areas of the Atlantic Region in Costa Rica. The model for this came from a 4-H experience for Latino immigrants in the Nebraska, United States. This research was carried out in two rural communities in Costa Rica: Maryland and El Zota. This study was supported by the Costa Rican government: the national rural youth program (PRONAJUR), the program that supports micro and small enterprises (PRONAMYPE), and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In the different workshops, activities, and meetings, the activities included youth social training, inclusion of technologies information for rural areas, support and recovery of the local entrepreneurial culture through active participation, strengthening organizations, and leadership. Twelve young people from Maryland developed six business plans, including an agrotourism farm, bakery, storage of agricultural products, rural beauty salon, clothing stores, and a mechanic shop, following the principles of professor and founder of the four ecologies philosophy, Leonardo Boff. Seventeen young people from El Zota were involved in the establishment of the project Agribusiness Association of Young Zota-Porvenir (AJEAZOP) and its business plans (organic vegetables). These experiences represent an opportunity to motivate and create more young entrepreneurial training and could be the basis of building sustainable development in rural communities for youth.

Key words: communities, four ecologies, 4-H, entrepreneurship, strengthening, leadership, business plans, sustainability, teamwork.

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