The Foundation shows how it transforms communities in Puerto Rico
By Valerie A. López Jiménez
After its first year working with 14 Puerto Rican entities the Pivot Accelerator promises to contribute to social and economic development through the generation of entrepreneurial projects enabled by data gathering and analysis, digital communication, and the integration of equity, diversity, and inclusion principles. The ChangeMaker Foundation published an introductory audiovisual about its purpose and objectives with the entrepreneurial communities of its Pivot accelerator.
Through a 98 second audiovisual the Foundation introduced one of its pillars: Achieving inclusiveness for women and the LGBT+ community through the development of digital entrepreneurial projects in businesses or communities. Accelerator participants included leaders from existing nonprofits and social enterprises with documented track record in the areas of food security, community education, and cultural industries.
The Foundation has carried out 14 projects focused on developing project proposals, minimum viable products, social marketing plans, podcast episodes, and databases. This curriculum has been successful in providing professional skills in information gathering, strategic analysis, and using data to support decision-making, testing new ideas or communicating results. Women leaders makeup 90% of the accelerator’s participants.
The average age of the leaders fluctuates between 25 and 64 years and more than 50% work in rural areas of Puerto Rico. In addition, the professional education offered anchors knowledge about institutional equity and provides skills to develop effective digital communication through various audiences.
“The professional development of leadership in a non-profit organization or a company is not limited to the person who acts as the chief leader. The more we develop leadership capabilities in our work teams, the more solutions emerge for identified needs. Emphasizing education and leadership development of women and gender fluid people is vital to closing the gap of inequity in leadership and transform the existing patriarchal system,” said ChangeMaker Foundation founder Mariely Rivera Hernández.
The 14 companies that have participated in one of the Pivot Accelerator’s three cohorts are: Botica Del Bosque, LLC, Centro Ishi, C.O.A.S.I, CoMesa, COSSAO, Envejecer en Armonía, Fe Que Transforma, Niños de Nueva Esperanza, Obras del País, Old San Juan Heritage Foundation, Qué hago con los Nenes, The Jane Stern Community Library, Visit Rico and Waves Ahead.
Education that Lasts
The participants of the workshops offered by the ChangeMaker Foundation through the Pivot Accelerator go beyond ideas. Each participant prepares a micro project that includes the integration of diversity, equity, data collection and accessibility, among learnings, while continuing their project even after the end of the cohort.
"One of the program characteristics highlighted by cohort graduates is the mentoring and technical support offered to achieve the final products and the breadth within which services are offered to guide participant action to a higher level of impact", concluded the founder of the ChangeMaker Foundation.
The Pivot Accelerator curriculum is made up of three modules: data culture, digital communication and diversity, inclusion, equity. Three cohorts have been carried out between 2021 and 2022. The participating entities have shown dedication and a conscientious development of their projects. For example, they have kept their social media followers up to date by posting frequent carousels with relevant data that foster administrative transparency, demonstrate the need for their efforts, and promotes information accessibility.
"The individualized participation of cohort leaders through the Pivot-ES podcast promoted the acquisition of communication skills and helped publicize their efforts using the elevator pitch technique," said Rivera Hernández, who is also part of the group of workshop speakers. All accelerator participants presented their projects through the Foundation's podcast, Pivot-ES. Accelerator podcast episodes are available through Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcast, IVOOX, Amazon, and YouTube channel.