Workshop for women entrepreneurs at the AEP

Annie Vial, Executive Director of Vital Voices of Panama, gave a workshop on entrepreneurship for Panamanian women, on Wednesday, January 8, at the City of Knowledge Business Accelerator (AEP).

To begin, Andrés León, Entrepreneur Manager at the AEP, explained how they support and promote innovative entrepreneurship so people with interesting business ideas can have the opportunity to turn them into projects.

Meanwhile, Annie Vial explained that Vital Voices of Panama is an NGO that identifies, trains and empowers women to become leaders in their communities. She also spoke about the opportunities they provide for women in Panama in order to improve their income and hand them tools to compete in the market.

Mrs. Vial explained the concept of mentoring and the role that the mentor has in order to help the apprentice clarify her goals and take her first steps. She stressed the fact that it is very important to listen and focus on the apprentice needs, empathize with her efforts and not adopt the role of «expert», always taking into account the need to be flexible and have an open mind. A mentor must listen, guide, be practical, educate, be accessible, criticize constructively, support, be specific and gain the trust and respect of her apprentice.

About the apprentices they work with, she said they should have an ongoing project, a desire for change and the availability to participate in the programs they offer. She also mentioned the benefits and roles of the apprentice and how Vital Voices of Panama works to provide them with contacts and make their business known. Women entrepreneurs who attended the workshop were able to learn about the code of ethics that the NGO implements.

Part of the workshop had to do with success stories from their entrepreneurs, some of which shared their experiences with the audience, and with a Q & A session where the future entrepreneur women of Panama had a chance to clarify their doubts and get the support and information necessary in order to begin their projects.

More information about Vital Voices of Panama: http://www.vocesvitalespanama.org/

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