News | Development Cooperation 15.05.2015

“empowering people. Onsite” in Bogotá highlights the importance of communications to social enterprises

The focus of the second “empowering people. Onsite” workshop, which was held from May 11 to 13 in Bogotá / Colombia, was on “Communications & Marketing Communication”.

“What we all have to understand, is the importance of communications for every kind of business – even for social enterprises.” (Irene Morales, an expert on communication strategies)

Social entrepreneurs often develop products and ideas that have the potential to improve basic needs in developing and emerging countries – but only visibility and customer acceptance, enhance their success. For this reason, the focus of the second “empowering people. Onsite” workshop, which was held from May 11 to 13 in Bogotá, Colombia, was on “Communications & Marketing Communication”.

“empowering people. Onsite”, the regionally based and hands-on training format within the “empowering people. Network,” brought together 13 social entrepreneurs and innovators from North and South America and offered them the opportunity to learn from communications experts and each other.

After an introduction given by communications expert Irene Morales, the participants were encouraged to work on their own communications strategy. The focus was placed on closely analyzing the target groups. Participatients then presented their work, which inspired an exchange of ideas and suggestions designed to solve core problems in communications. Anita Rivera from TriCiclos Chile said: “If you only see the challenges you face in your own work, you will never be able to improve. But if you hear the stories and experiences of others, as we have done in this workshop, your horizon suddenly opens up and you realize flaws and potential improvements in your business.”

In order to get the full picture of what communications means today, a presentation on search engine optimization (SEO) was given by the expert Luis Betancourt. For some of the participants, this was the first time they had been exposed to this topic. They quickly understood how beneficial it can be – by investing only their time and energy. The key message was: Anything can be achieved and learned if it is properly practiced.

Intensive hands-on practice was done throughout the second day. The participants took part in three parallel skills sessions, all in small groups: on social media, on video and photography and on presentations and interviews. By being taught to operate various media devices, group members learned how to further tap their potential. Mauricio Gnecco of Aprotec said: “These are exactly the kind of skills we need to learn right now in our company. Thank you for setting this up.”

More examples can be found on Twitter with the #epOnsite hashtag.

About “empowering people.Network”
The "empowering people. Network" initiative from Siemens Stiftung which aims to promote relevant technological and entrepreneurial approaches with potential for sustainable development. It offers practitioners, inventors, experts and organizations working in developmental cooperation the opportunity to connect and create stronger and more goal-oriented ties and provides a fruitful basis for partnership, exchange, technology transfer and entrepreneurial thinking.