Mexican Entrepreneurs are like Berkeley MBAs

When it come to sitting in class, entrepreneurs in Mexico are very much like Berkeley MBAs. They want their professors to skip the history and the lecturing and get to the point. They want actionable recommendations. They want less lecture, and more practical advice.

In working with Prospera to develop a crash course in marketing for Mexican microentrepreneurs, we relied heavily on the 4Ps framework — en español, precio, promoción, plaza, y producto — as an outline for our thoughts. We put together four separate hours of workshops (one hour for each P), including activities and homework inspired by our coursework in classes like PFPS, Core Marketing, and Marketing Research. Working one-on-one with members of Prospera’s team, we worked to translate and localize (“Mexicanize”) the content, providing examples using Mexican success stories. The workshop was delivered for the first time this past Monday, and the feedback was loud and clear:
Too long!
Too much text on the slides!
More examples!
More actionable!

It sounded a lot like the feedback we often provide at the midpoint of our own classes at Haas. We cut each module roughly in half (to 30 minutes per P), changed the homework to pre-work, and put a lot more emphasis on the activities that tested understanding of concepts (rather than the theory). We wanted to make mistakes quickly, adjust, and experiment with the revised content and flow right away — and it was successful! The entrepreneurs were more engaged and the activities, like the business model canvas (pictured in the attached photo), were much more productive. We are continuing to revise the curriculum this week and are also developing a separate binder of materials for the entrepreneurs to take home and refer to on their own time.

—Pat Flemming

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