Jaltepec Wins National Competition
By Mike and Sally Myers
The Entrepreneurial Expo Competition began in April for ten talented Jaltepec students, each hoping to secure a place in the national competition held May 15th in Mexico City. The annual entrepreneurial expo is sponsored and judged by the Business Incubation Department of the Pan American University in Guadalajara.
Any student who wants to start her own business after graduating could enter the contest and win a spot to compete with students from five other schools in Mexico. Preparing for the competition proved to be a valuable learning tool. They had to put together a complete business proposal, prepare an attractive display of their products, and answer the judges’ questions.
The young ladies were well spoken, and attractively dressed in chef’s jackets and hats. Their ability to answer the judges’ difficult questions reflected their exceptional level of preparedness.
Each student had ten minutes to explain their business concept to the judges, and then the judges had ten minutes to question them and help them refine their plan. Questions included,
“What makes your business different from others in your area?”
“How will you decide on a location?”
“What steps will you take for food safety?”
“What will be your monthly operating expenses?”
“Will you work seven days a week?”
The prize money for winning the competition in Mexico City was 5,000 pesos for third place, 10,000 for second place and 15,000 for first place. But the winners are not handed a check. The Business Incubation Department oversees the opening of the business, and the prize money is then spent on necessary equipment and other set-up expenses.
The four winners of the competition at Jaltepec set off for Mexico City with high hopes. The prize money and prestige that comes with winning the competition is life altering for these young women and their families. They were not disappointed. The four students from Jaltepec walked away with the first, second, third and fourth place prizes.
First place went to Sandra Perez for her fried potatoes Las Morenas. After graduating, Sandra will establish her business in Yahualica, Jalisco. Second prize was awarded to Nayeli Rodriquez for her Napool Pizza. Nayeli plans to open her pizzeria on the south side of the lake in Tizapan. She will bake her delicious pizza in a wood oven.
Bertha Rodriquez received third prize for her Birrieria Las Comadres. Her business will be in her hometown of Sayula. Fourth prize went to Karla Gonzales for her Pizza D’Gustti. Karla and her family already have started selling her pizza on the weekend in Tlaquepaque. Operating a business and working together has been a driving force in uniting her family.
The results of the contest once again reflect the high level of education offered at Jaltepec, the only Technical University en Hoteleria in Mexico. With their goal of helping young girls whose financial circumstances would normally prevent them from gaining any kind of advanced degree, each student becomes a winner. A heart-felt congratulation to the students and staff of Jaltepec for winning the national competition two years in a row.