Teaching Young Innovators to be Social Entrepreneurs

2017

When she started working at the Universidad del Valle de México (UVM), Angelica Cifuentes Calderón was teaching theater. Now, after more than 20 years at the institution, she leads a group that supports and empowers young social entrepreneurs all over the country and has been part of the launch of many successful social enterprises.

For her, it all comes down to one thing: “Teaching is truly my passion,” said Cifuentes, leader of social responsibility for UVM’s metropolitan campuses. After she had children of her own, she felt even more deeply that every person should be afforded the same opportunities that she wanted for her children. Over the years, Cifuentes has taught almost every subject under the sun, and now has become a key leader in the world of social innovation in Mexico, something she believes opens up many opportunities for young people.

Through her work with Enactus, a global organization that supports young people who want to learn about entrepreneurship, she is now working with more than 240 UVM students and has been a part of the launch of five successful social enterprises, all managed and led by young people. The projects are often based on selling products made by underserved communities and give the participants a livelihood and skills training.

The work that Cifuentes leads now is a combination of all her past experiences, her many passions, and her continued belief that young people have the capacity to lead and start projects that can have meaningful impact on the lives of many.