Innovation in Ambos Nogales

Marisabel presents her plan for “finance parties.”
Photo by Murphy Woodhouse

Working as a manager at her family-owned restaurant in Nogales, Marisabel never though of herself as an entrepreneur.  But during a 2-day Micro-entrepreneurship Lab hosted by Nogales Community Development and LeadLocal, Marisabel discovered her entrepreneurial spirit.

Sharing her concern for financial literacy in the community, Marisabel’s team developed a business model to bring accessible, applicable, and fun ways to introduce  financial capability to women and families in Nogales through “finance parties.”

Sixteen women from diverse sectors of the community participated in the Micro-entrepreneurship Lab and worked together to generate possible solutions to ongoing problems in their local community.

The goal of the community innovation lab was two-fold: 1) Introduce women in the community and NCD staff to accessible and culturally relevant design thinking and lean start-up methodologies, 2) Generate grass-roots ideas and support for solving ongoing community issues.

Women formed teams around self-identified community problems, and were introduced to a series of tools and processes used by lean entrepreneurs. The teams used tools from the Micro-venture Launch Pad to identify and test solutions to log-standing community problems. The Micro-entrepreneurship Lab concluded with a “shark tank” style pitch to business and community leaders.

Read the story in the Nogales International.