Norwich students connect with Panamanian business owner – NBC Connecticut
Students gathered in a lecture hall at the Norwich Free Academy on Monday afternoon for a business meeting that lasted for months.
Members of the NFA’s Future Business Leaders of America club pitched their business development ideas to a Panama-based entrepreneur.
“I really hope his business will grow one day,” said George Hanna, one of the students involved in the year-long project.
The NFA has partnered with a non-profit organization Squads Abroad. The non-profit organization connected the students with Fermin Campos, a small business owner in Panama.
Campos opened a fruit and vegetable delivery business, “2s Hermanas”, last year in a remote and underfunded area of the country.
Working alongside mentors in Panama, NFA students developed a business plan for Campos and came up with marketing strategies to help his business grow.
“We learned to do business in a totally different area than where we are,” Hanna said. “We had to think outside the box for him.”
NFA business educator Linda Farinha led the group and said it didn’t take long for everyone to get on board. They met after school for months before their final presentation in Campos.
“They would find me in the lobby and say, ‘I just Googled Panama – do you know how far it travels? ‘” Farinha said. “The economic model is not the one that is [going] get bigger and bigger and earn more and more money. It’s ‘What can I do to support my family’ – and I think the kids are really going to do that.”
The students created flyers, business cards and thank you cards for Campos customers. They included a QR code on the cards with his contact details. They also made him t-shirts with his company logo on them.
NFA sent the box of materials to Campos so he could use them for his business.
Campos said he had long dreamed of owning a business and said he was very impressed with the NFA students and all the work they did.
“I really hope Fermin gets something out of it. As much as we got out of it,” Hanna said.
This is the first year the NFA has partnered with Squads Abroad.
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