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Carlos Ballesteros

The “Dialogues of the Women with a Brave DNA”

The “Dialogues of the Women with Brave DNA” is a program run at ICADE (the Business School within Universidad Pontificia Comillas) in partnership with a Rural, Entrepreneur Women Association called “Mujeres punto de luz”. It is run within the Service-Learning project that ICADE offers to all their students. This a program in which both undergraduate & postgraduate students prepare workshops, mentoring activities and other related actions in order to work with vulnerable women in Spain who have started their own social entrepreneurship projects. These women profiles are complicated: most of them had suffer gender violence; are unemployed and older than 45, therefore they face many difficulties to re-enter the labor market; are single mothers; etcetera. Definitively they are women who fight against circumstances and we have named them “women with a brave DNA”. While 2017 course was dedicated to their particular projects –fill in their “canvas profile” and help them to identify strategic partnerships and resources, this Spring 2018 we have held the second edition of it in which students from ICADE had to identify other women around the world which have this “brave DNA”, obtain a short clip with their stories and share with the Spanish women, enabling a dialogue, while remote. The idea is to facilitate women around the world, who are entrepreneurs and came from vulnerable environments, to talk about their concerns, challenges and worries. We have had stories from India, Chile, Benin, Nicaragua, etcetera which were shared with those vulnerable women in Spain (and vice versa) This project has several interesting outcomes: • It permits ICADE students to face different situations, worldwide, and allow them to reflect on causes and consequences. • It is a good example of “learning by doing” and “service learning” as students have to 1) study the context in which the case is taking place 2) identify women (with the help of some local NGO) and get the video clips 3) prepare an infographic 4) run an event with more than 50 Spanish women 5) write a critical report • It empowers vulnerable women and help them with their entrepreneurial issues • IS a good example of Social responsibility of the University.