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Empowering Your People

Posted on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016 at 9:33 pm.

By Carlos Mayogra Garcia, J-1 Trainee from Colombia

carlos mayora

Carlos Mayorga presenting his ideas to a 2016 MBA class at Inalde Business School.

I have been an entrepreneur for 12 years now, working on how to find the power to transform countries and empower people to build a foundation for sustainable development. I have witnessed how political decisions and policies create change in Colombia, but many of those public initiatives take more time than people expect. Through the Next Generation Leaders (NGL) program, The McCain Institute empowers NGLs to tackle these types of issues and search for the best practical solutions to positively impact communities.

I recently spoke with Danny Jimeniz, Director of the Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá’s Restrepo Office, about the future of business and entrepreneurship in Colombia. We agreed that it is critical for Colombians to launch business ventures and facilitate educational opportunities that allow others to do the same. With this concept in mind, I decided to dedicate my life to leadership and the creation of innovative ideas and business initiatives that will help provide real solutions.

Mr. Mayorga with two employees

Mr. Mayorga with two employees he has economically empowered through his company, Global Blue Hydros.

To affect change, I created Global Blue Hydros and Astex Colombia, two companies that provide entrepreneurial training and technological tools in English. These organizations promote competitiveness in the Colombian workforce and reduce the rate of unemployment. To date, we have created more than 600 jobs. Last year, we created 30 small businesses and 85 new jobs in Colombia. We also provided thousands of Colombian citizens with access to our educational programs in a second language.

I would like to share a short and emotive testimony that I received last month from Sergio Moreno, an entrepreneur in Medellin, Colombia.

group of students

Astex Colombia students participating in a 2016 – 2017 German-exchange program.

“I formerly worked for a bank in Colombia, but now I am an entrepreneur thanks to Carlos Mayorga and his company Global Blue Hydros. Our employees have an immensely better work-life balance and are no longer subjected to long working hours with little financial compensation. We thank Carlos and Global Blue Hydros for enabling us to develop in business and improve our quality of life,” said Moreno.

I am dedicated to empowering individuals and providing entrepreneurial training throughout the country and world. I am motivated by my fellow NGLs from across the globe, who every day face the complexities of local challenges and aim to disrupt the “norm.” We change and impact minds from all sectors of society and hope to create better outcomes. It does not matter what our job, socioeconomic status, gender, nationality or religion is. Let us continue to serve as a benchmark of leadership and as a great example of managerial capacity.

The McCain Institute for International Leadership’s Next Generation Leaders program is a J-1 trainee private sector exchange program, made possible through the U.S. Department of State. The Institute is proud to engage in public diplomacy while advancing character driven leadership around the world.

On May 23, 2016, The McCain Institute for International Leadership announced the recipient of its first annual Catalyst Grant. This award is granted to the Next Generation Leader who has demonstrated the most progress with the development and implementation of their Leadership Action Plan, the final product of a one year professional and character driven leadership program. Carlos Mayogra Garcia, the 2016 Catalyst Grant recipient, was the Colombian member of the inaugural cohort in 2013.

Categories: Program Spotlight

About G. Kevin Saba

Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange

G. Kevin Saba

G. Kevin Saba serves as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange at the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). In this capacity, he oversees the Exchange Visitor Program, which brings around 300,000 foreign citizens to the United States annually to teach, study, and build skills. He is the Director for the Policy and Program Support Division in ECA’s Office of Private Sector Exchange.

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