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Mayan Power and Light

by Appropriate Technology Collaborative
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Mayan Power and Light
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Mayan Power and Light
Mayan Power and Light
Mayan Power and Light
Mayan Power and Light
Mayan Power and Light
Mayan Power and Light
Aug 2, 2019

Our New Social Entrepreneurship Curriculum

High School girls learn intro to business skills
High School girls learn intro to business skills

After months of hard work by our team of trainers, we're proud to announce the completion of our brand-new educational curriculum! 

Later this month we will be debuting our new curriculum with a group of rural women in cooperation with the Municipal Women's office in Colomba, Quetzaltenango.

It's strategically designed to get rural entreprenuers active in the market within the first 3 months of training with practical exercises and coaching over 10 months that progressively builds her business. 

We match business training with empowerment training to build public speaking confidence, emotional resiliency skills and determination to help them succeed with their life goals despite gender barriers.

Our special focus on social businesses that promote awareness & education requires workshops on preventative health & environmental awareness to 'teach the teachers' and inspire them with the impact they can make in these areas. 

If you are interested in the details of our course, here's a brief outline of how we set up rural social businesses over our 12 year program:


Empowerment & Entreprenuership training:

    Over 192 hours of in-person trainings provide core and advanced skills necessary to start a microenterprise and advocate for her community. Each workshop topic is directly tied to her success in distributing MPL products while giving her practical experience prior to developing her long-term business plans. The educational program includes practical homework projects, reading, and self-tracking to help new entrepreneurs establish successful habits in business and personal life.   Bi-weekly phone calls coach students to help them achieve their goals. Pre-assessments provide baseline data of each student to be compared to her progress throughout the year. Her final business plan and pitch provide a final assessment of skills obtained during the course of the program. 


Introduction to Small Business

Students become well versed in “Lean Start-up” methods to develop small businesses with a minimal budget. They become familiar with the Business Model Canvas to analyze the MPL business model and apply it in their communities. During the final months of the program, students develop their own business plans that include positive social and environmental impacts as well as personal financial success. 

Market Studies teach students the process of identifying clients, business competitors and opportunities in the market with tools to segment and understand their local markets. New entreprenuers will understand the Growth-Share Matrix and the Boston Consulting Group Matrix to strengthen their business plans. 

Mastering the Elevator Pitch gives students the confidence to express their business, goals and products to attract the attention of potential customers or investors. As public figures, social business women have extensive practical application in town fairs, tabling and community council presentations.

Sales Strategies show new entreprenuers how to access their market segments understanding Value Propositions of products and services. New social entreprenuers implement Mayan Power and Light sales strategies of presentations and workshops to approach low-income and under educated market segments with solutions to basic needs.  These skills and others are incorporated into their own business plans to provide long-term services to their local market. 

Towards the end of the year, new entrepreneurs understand the process to formalize and register their business under Guatemalan law.  They will understand important topics like labor laws; tax requirements and fiscal regulations; forms, fees and processes to register their business with Guatemala’s tax agency.


Financial Literacy 

We train new microentrepreneurs in financial education and how to manage the economic resources they generate. Since women are the often administrators of home finances it is important to recognize between needs and desires, saving and responsible financial decision-making. Students directly apply their learning to managing budgets, inventory and receipts through the Mayan Power and Light program.


Personal Empowerment:

This essential topic addresses the main barriers to success in business for women in Guatemala: self-confidence, communication skills, emotional control, resiliency and motivation.

In dynamic, participatory activities, new business women learn Interpersonal Communication public to build public speaking confidence to hold public workshops, engage with Municipal government representatives, approach customers and respond to their questions.  Strategies for resilience, emotional control and motivation address the ups personal challenges associated in the ups and downs of starting a new business. 

Reading is assigned throughout the program with homework questions based on the readings and in-class reflections. Working with motivational books such as The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey; and The Biggest Seller in the World.



As advocates for their community’s development, this module will teach the skills to lead community processes to plan and execute sustainable, community-led projects. By the end of this training, new social businesswomen can confidently build relationships with Municipal and Community committees, complete a needs analysis, identify community projects and create sustainability plans for long term maintenance. 



As public promotors of green technologies, social businesswomen educate the public via her free public workshops.  This module assures they have a complete understanding of the effects of climate change, efficient use and management of natural resources and personal commitments to protect the environment. 



An introduction to preventative health provides a review of techniques to prevent the most common waterborne and airborne diseases in Guatemala.  With an introduction to WASH and Nutrition social businesswomen can educate her clients about important practices to increase family health and the impact of water filters, clean cookstoves and solar power.

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Organization Information

Appropriate Technology Collaborative

Location: Ann Arbor, MI - USA
Project Leader:
Monika Goforth
Ann Arbor, MI United States
$119,431 raised of $125,000 goal
1,729 donations
$5,569 to go
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