Competing for good: Celebrating EARTH students’ social entrepreneurship

Filed Under: EARTH News
Date: November 27th, 2020

On November 10, EARTH University hosted the sixth Cumbre Agroempresarial, our annual social entrepreneurship competition for second-year students. This year’s event, held online, featured 16 teams formally presenting the results from their past year of business operation projects.

Chocomonchis created chocolates with different flavour.

Social entrepreneurship is one hallmark of an EARTH education. In their first year, students form groups of four to six classmates to build an enterprise. They pitch triple-bottom-line venture ideas, which aim to address major global problems like hunger, climate change, or gender inequity. Then, they draft full business plans.

Yahman was the winning team at Cumbre Agrícola.

Yahman was the winning team at Cumbre Agrícola.

The University grants each approved company a loan to operate the business during the students’ second academic year, which is capped by the Cumbre. Second-year students close their respective business and evaluate its profitability and effectiveness. After repaying the loan with interest, the team distributes its financial gains internally.

Members of EnerChips.

Members of EnerChips.

This year, the following six teams advanced to the Cumbre’s semifinal round:

  • ENER-CHIPS produces crunchy snack chips made from banana, plantain, and yuca, through low-tech methods. Their easy-to-replicate model can be used to train other budding entrepreneurs.
  • ChocoMonchis crafts Costa Rican chocolates using locally sourced ingredients, no additives, and compostable packaging.
Products made by Planticas.

Products made by Planticas.

  • Planticas sells decorative cactuses and succulents in recycled, reusable, or biodegradable pots.
  • Yahman prepares healthful granolas with dried pineapple, flaky coconut, and rich chocolate.
  • Yucatropic makes balanced foods that help lactating cows to be healthy, while also promoting technical upskilling among farmers.
  • Ocha manufactures nourishing skincare products and sanitizer gels from raw materials. Their bar soaps are even packaged in natural banana paper.
Ocha made skincare products.

Ocha made skincare products.

After being evaluated by an international jury, Planticas won third place, Ocha second place, and Yahman first place.

“For us, winning was a reflection of the effort we have made since the beginning,” said Fabiola Rojas (’22, Costa Rica), manager of Yahman. “We believe we showed the judges how these types of projects can positively impact other people. We are grateful and proud of our work.”

Yucatropic created nutritional food for lactating cows.

Yucatropic created nutritional food for lactating cows.

We applaud the dedication, creativity, and late nights that all our students invested in their businesses. The skills acquired during the experience will propel them even closer to the attainment of their own goals and those of their communities.

To learn more about recent social entrepreneurship projects by EARTH students, click here.