Using Technology to address Youth Unemployment in the Dominican Republic

Ana Duarte and Larry Galante

Ana Duarte and Larry Galante

6/18/19 – Ana Duarte and Larry Galante are students in the Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise MBA (soon to rebrand as the Impact MBA!), and they have been conducting their summer practicum research in the Dominican Republic this summer.

Having been here in the Dominican Republic for less than two weeks, we’ve already put the skills we’ve learned in the classroom into action in the field. In the Spring semester we learned about several marketing research techniques (observational, survey, etc.) which have greatly helped us to design, implement, and analyze market research that assesses the viability of Dominican youth to enter the field of coding.

Over a weekend, we held a workshop with Dominican youth at a community center where Ana, who is Dominican, used to volunteer. The workshop aimed to expose youth to programming through a fun and interactive activity that teaches the fundamentals of coding. We utilized a free resource developed by Thinkersmith and received very positive feedback from the youth participants as it was their first time learning how to code. While simultaneously adding value for youth and addressing our venture’s research objectives, we implemented this event with 29 students, the majority of which were girls.

Gysbel, age 17, executing code to build a specific cup stack.

Gysbel, age 17, executing code to build a specific cup stack.

We designed and delivered a pre and post survey to measure youth’s familiarity with coding, interest to learn, and interest to pursue coding as a career. We also created a template to collect observational data while the youth participated in the activity, assessing if they have the right attitude to learn coding (patience, perseverance, positive response to failure, etc.).

After the event, our we reflected on what went well, what could have gone better, and specific actions to improve for next time. The plan is to conduct this event five more times to secure a minimum sample size of 100 youth in our target market.

We’re excited to continue investigating the viability of our venture in an effort to reduce youth unemployment among young women in the Dominican Republic.

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