Megan Christenson

Location: Ecuador

Village Capital Partner: The Yachana Institute

About Megan…

Megan is a Chicago native who completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where she majored in International Studies and Spanish.  After working for a brief stint at a language services start-up, she entered the Monterey Institute for International Studies to receive her MBA/MA in Environmental Policy.  This past fall she worked with Village Capital and the Yachana Institute in Ecuador developing a Village Capital program for the Andean region.  Megan is interested in creating innovative business models for environmental and social change, and plans to pursue a career in social enterprise development.

In the Field…

While working to develop a Village Capital Program in Ecuador, Megan had the opportunity to work closely with one enterprise in particular, Chacay.  Chacay is a “Kiva – meets – community based tourism” enterprise that plans to connect socially responsible tourists with community development projects around the various eco-regions of Ecuador.  Megan helped Chacay to brainstorm possible marketing ideas and further develop their business model.

At the Yachana Institute, which is located deep in the Ecuadorian Amazon, Megan developed a high school curriculum at the Yachana Technical High School for Village Capital “Junior.”  During this program, 30 high school students created social business plans and used peer evaluation techniques to select the most promising business model with the greatest social impact.  Students learned the essentials of business modeling, financial planning, and creative brainstorming.  Program winners were able to present their business plans to Yachana’s founder, renowned social entrepreneur Douglas McMeekin.

Now back in the United States, Megan is continuing to work with Village Capital’s partners in Ecuador to further develop plans for the region’s first-ever social enterprise accelerator.

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