DreamBuilder: The Women's Business Creator was developed in partnership with Thunderbird School of Global Management, and launched in 2012 in Chile and Peru (in Spanish). Innovative in its delivery method and focus, DreamBuilder has delivered teaching, tools, and resources through a distance learning format. The Commitment to reach 3,400 women in Chile and Peru was achieved in August 2015, but Freeport-McMoRan continued to make DreamBuilder available at no cost to women entrepreneurs in Chile, Peru, and around the world to Spanish-speaking countries through 2015 and will continue to do so for the entirety of 2016.
NEEDS ASSESSMENT & DEVELOPMENT
During the first year of the Commitment, faculty of Thunderbird School of Global Management developed the curriculum and program content based on needs assessments and input from in-country experts, potential partners, and interested parties facilitated by Freeport-McMoRan.
COURSE DESIGN MILESTONES
The course design included pioneering teaching techniques like a telenovela (soap-opera) to reinforce lessons learned and address social challenges women might face. Each course is guided by Alma, a fictional character who owns her own business and shares her own experiences and knowledge. Courses also include testimonials from four successful women entrepreneurs, quizzes, and interactive games. A Business Plan Generator, embedded in the program, creates a personalized business plan that the entrepreneurs can edit, update, and use to seek support for their business and track their progress. The program includes resources for the participants, including discussion boards, messaging, and a tool kit with sample business forms and useful templates. The program was beta tested with a group of 25+ women in each location to ensure ease of use, relevancy, etc. and changes were made accordingly to provide the best program possible.
TECHNOLOGY /ONLINE PLATFORM MILESTONES
Bluedrop Performance Learning designed the courseware and functionality of the e-learning platform and continues to host DreamBuilder on its Learning Management System, making the material accessible anytime, anywhere there is access to the internet.
The course design included pioneering teaching techniques like a telenovela (soap-opera) and a Business Plan Generator, which leads participating women to apply their new knowledge to their own business as the answers to questions, creating a personalized business plan. Further, a practical tool kit was created, and the entrepreneurs learned about the tools as they progressed through the program with continued access to the kit, even after graduating from the program.
DreamBuilder, the online certificate program designed specifically for women in Latin America has been available at no cost via the internet since 2012. Since that time, the number of women entrepreneurs who have registered, begun, and proceeded through at least some of the courses has grown exponentially.
The program has well exceeded its initial commitment goal of reaching 3,400 women in Chile and Peru, currently serving more than 6,730 women entrepreneurs (as of Feb 29, 2016). In addition, the geographic focus of the program expanded beyond its goal of reaching women in two countries to reaching women in 19 different Latin American countries enrolled in the Spanish-language version of the program. In Chile and Peru alone, there are 5,256 participants, surpassing the original commitment to reach 3,400 entrepreneurs from those two countries.
ON THE GROUND IMPLEMENTATION MILESTONES
To meet (and eventually surpass) the goal of reaching 3,400 women entrepreneurs in Chile and Peru, the partnership included placing a team of Thunderbird School of Global Management fellows/program managers in both countries. The DreamBuilder program managers, in partnership with the Freeport site teams, focused on building partnerships with a wide range of organizations, including building upon existing relationships and programs supported by the local Freeport-McMoRan mine site. The DreamBuilder program managers recruited, trained, and supported more than 20 local partner organizations to expand the number of women that have been able to participate in the program.
BEYOND COMMITMENT TIMEFRAME
Although Freeport-McMoRan's original commitment was achieved in August of 2015, the program has continued. Access to DreamBuilder remains free for anyone, anywhere. Spanish speaking entrepreneurs around the world interested in improving their business knowledge and confidence can register and take the online business training program, participate in the discussion boards, and have continued access to the toolkit resources.