Asaía Palacios

AsaiaLocation: Colombia

Village Capital Partner: The Hub- Bogota

Asaía grew up in two worlds – on one side, Ecatepec, State of Mexico and on the other, San Antonio, Texas. Both places tell a story. In Ecatepec, organized crime and poverty exist around you while in San Antonio, and in Texas for that matter, first encounters with Mexican immigrants revealing their respective struggles and hardships in the US are all too familiar. Turning negatives into positives, these experiences have shaped Asaía to want to connect with those who are looking to better their lives or the lives of those around them. For this reason, she believes economic and social well-being via a market-based approach (sustainable, innovative enterprises solving a social problem and employing or serving struggling individuals wishing to better themselves) can unlock growth and prosperity. So after graduating from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in Latin American Studies and Government, then teaching English in Prague, Czech Republic, Asaía shifted gears towards strengthening the social enterprise and impact investing effort in Mexico — first, helping the search-and-selection Ashoka Mexico team in identifying social entrepreneurs in Mexico, then evaluating innovative business models with social impact for seed capital investment and mentorship, and finally, as a liaison for a US startup in Mexico City wishing to provide financing to microentrepreneurs through their crowdfunding and money-management SMS platform. As a Frontier Market Scout, Asaía wishes to continue on this journey, only this time in Bogotá, Colombia where she will be collaborating alongside Hub Bogotá in their efforts to develop a social enterprise acceleration program. Her goal? To one day work for a strategy consulting firm that utilizes design thinking tools to help companies, organizations, and ventures innovate, remain competitive and, most importantly, bring impact into the area of social change as it relates to their business.

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