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18 Nov 2014

FEMSA AND ASHOKA PROMOTE NEW AGENTS OF CHANGE WITH YOUTH WITH VALUE

  • The young people learn entrepreneurial skills in order to create social businesses and ventures that benefit their communities
  • More than 100 young people from Veracruz participate in the Fourth Class

Xalapa, Mexico. November 18, 2014.- FEMSA and Avancemos-Ashoka continuously work in the formation of new agents of change in the program Youth with Value aiming to drive the new generations in the design and development of their own social businesses and ventures.

Since 2011, the program has promoted more than 340 social entrepreneurship projects in the states of Nuevo Leon, Michoacan, and Veracruz. Currently, 34 collectives with more than 100 young people from the state of Veracruz join this network of agents of change after learning entrepreneurial skills thanks to Avancemos-Ashoka's methodology and the support of FEMSA as well as by participating in the Panel of Presentation of Projects of Youth with Value's Fourth Class.

“FEMSA is committed to transform our communities in a positive manner; our interest in triggering a culture of social entrepreneurship in the region is a token of that commitment, as is the creation and strengthening of diverse companies and institutions. Through Youth with Value, we encourage young people aged 14 to 24 to strengthen their entrepreneurial skills and put them into practice by designing and developing their own social businesses and ventures. Throughout 15 months, the projects - developed in collectives of three to five members - receive education, technical coaching, networking, monitoring, and seed capital so they can become a reality,” said Anik Vares, Manager of Social Sustainability at FEMSA.

During this event, the collectives presented their social ventures before a panel of experts, who offered feedback for the youngsters so that they can improve their projects and grow their potential as sustainable businesses in the real market.

“Ashoka encourages social change through the promotion of social entrepreneurship in different sectors of society. We look to trigger the potential we all have to become agents of change. Through the Avancemos -Ashoka initiative, we support enthusiastic and highly responsible young people to generate positive transformation and new social practices in their community aiming to detonate a movement of young agents of change,” stated Diohema Anlleu Mora, Director of Ashoka Avancemos.

In the Community Project category, the venture ‘Saving Stoves’ from the collective Entrepreneurial Women stands out; the project foresees the construction of firewood saving stoves in the community of Los Pescados in Perote County, Veracruz, these stoves decrease the consumption of firewood and thus logging. During the pilot phase, the collective wants to build five stoves that will benefit over 250 people. The main motivation of the collective is to contribute to a decrease in logging since their community is amid a Protected Natural Area and they wish to preserve the environment for future generations.

In the Social Business category, one of the collectives is called 'Folkloric Usage,' which proposes manufacturing folkloric dresses aiming to give employment to single mothers and senior females in Naolinco County. Its main drive is to mitigate the precarious conditions in which many women in their community live deriving from a lack of employment opportunities and inflexibility. During its first stage, the project looks to benefit eight to ten women, offering them a better job while retaking and promoting the regional traditions.

The collective MS Engineering is designing a ‘Solid Urban Waste Recycling Plant,’ it aims to process trash and transform waste in raw materials, PET, tires, and polyethylene bags. Its main drive is to contribute to a decrease in pollution. In its first stage, the project will develop in the leeward plains at Juan Rodríguez Clara in Veracruz, since one the most important landfills in the state is located there.

“For us, the program Youth with Value has been of great help, because we have learned many things, such as establishing connections with other people, it also encourages and empowers us to start projects that help the improvement of our community. Today, we know that they help and believe in us, as young people, to change our environment,” said Blanca Estela Pérez Salazar, Saving Stoves Collective, Perote, Veracruz.

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About FEMSA

FEMSA is a leading company that participates in the beverage industry through Coca-Cola FEMSA, the largest franchise bottler of Coca-Cola products in the world; and in the beer industry, through its ownership of the second largest equity stake in Heineken, one of the world's leading brewers with operations in over 70 countries. In the retail industry it participates with FEMSA Comercio, operating various small-format chain stores, including OXXO, the largest and fastest-growing chain of stores in Latin America. FEMSA's Strategic Business Unit supports all these operations.

About Avancemos

Avancemos, is an initiative of Ashoka that promotes young agents of change in the development of social projects that benefit their community by offering them advisory services, coaching, and a seed capital to start their venture. In Mexico, Avancemos Ashoka has invested in over 790 youth collectives created and led by more than 3044 young people. The ventures propose improvements in health, education, environment, socialization, indigenous culture, financial and community development, access to new technologies, and other issues.

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