Marketing I - Marketing Plans for Rural Microenterprises (Panama)

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Learn and apply general marketing strategies in the context of microenterprises and help small rural businesses in Central America.

Students are guided by our local economic development professionals and mentors from leading consulting firms to develop and design marketing initiatives for small businesses in rural resource-limited communities in Panama. Through client interviews, industry research, and cultural sharing, students create, design, and present marketing collateral to drive business growth.

In addition to our skill-based learning objectives, building cultural competence is integrated into the course to increase the quality of services and improve outcomes with community partners.


Customize your Business TeleBrigade by selecting a set of modules. Explore available modules below:

Module 1: Introductions and Program Overview

Coordinator and student introductions along with a presentation on Global Brigades (GB) in Panama. Self-paced activity: Group reviews Panama economic development program materials in the context of GB’s Holistic Model for community development.

Module 2: Small Businesses in Indigenous and Rural Panama

Our small business expert in Panama talks about the culture and business environment for indigenous and rural Panamanian communities. Self-Paced Activity: Reading Material: Can we Know Better? Reflections for Development (Chambers, 2017)

Module 3: Globalization and Market Opportunities

Talk with GB Economic Development Expert to learn about Panama’s unique role in globalization and both the economic and social effects as it relates to market opportunities for microenterprises. Self-paced activity: Group reflects on strategic market opportunities within the context of Panama’s fast-growing economy.

Module 4: Business Selection

Coordinator presents potential businesses and supports students to choose which they will work with. Self-paced activity: Group reviews business information and informs staff of selection.

Module 5: Marketing Plan Overview

Coordinator walks through the template Marketing Plan Framework that the group will develop with the business leaders. Self-paced activity: Group reviews Marketing Plan framework further

Module 6: Initial Meeting Preparation

Coordinator presents business information, including virtual community tour and current marketing initiatives that the business is implementing. Self-paced Activity: Students review the Spanish business packet and Executive Summary template to prepare their initial questions for the business.

Module 7: Initial Meeting with Entrepreneur

Introductory meeting between entrepreneur and group to build relationship and have cultural exchange. Self-paced Activity: Group reviews notes from meeting and divides into teams and assigns tasks by sections of the marketing plan and any unique marketing deliverables (i.e. brochures or a website).

Module 8: Mentor Session with Professional Consultant

Mentor and GB coordinator help prepare the group to ask the most strategic questions during the consultation day. Self-paced Activity: Group prepares and assigns questions to ask business clients based on mentor guidance.

Module 9: Second Meeting with Entrepreneur

Live virtual session with the entrepreneur to answer questions and gather information for the marketing plan and deliverables Self-paced Activity: Group begins work to create a business plan utilizing Canvas Model.

Modules 10, 11 and 12: Marketing Plan and Deliverable Creation

Two working sessions with coordinators to answer questions and help students create their marketing plan and any additional deliverables. Self-paced Activity: Continuing working in teams to finalize.

Module 13: Marketing Plan Submission and Final Mentor Feedback

Group submits final marketing plan and deliverables for final feedback from mentors. Self-paced Activity: Make any last edits to presentation and deliverables based on mentor feedback.

Module 14: Presentation to Entrepreneur

Group presents via a video conference to the client with the coordinator providing translation. Group receives feedback from the client. Up to 2 hrs. Self-paced Activity: Group decides to make a donation to capitalize any loans needed to execute the marketing plan. Students complete the evaluation survey and prepare final reflections. Procure cooking materials and watch the instructional cooking video.

Module 15: Cultural Activity and Project Celebration

GB coordinator debriefs the group on feedback from the entrepreneur and reflects on personal and professional development. The team celebrates and shows off how their local dish turned out. Self-paced Activity: Group reviews monitoring and evaluation reports

Impact Reporting

Students will be included in Global Brigades’ regular newsletters and receive project updates and overall monitoring and evaluation of our programs.


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