María José Casaubon

2022 IVLP Impact Award Project: Support for Equity and Decentralization of Female Entrepreneurship in STEAM in ChileChile

María José Casaubon is an experienced professional in international-level institutional relations, business development and project development. She is also a biologist from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and has a master's in business management from the Adolfo Ibáñez University. Due to her time at the Comisión de Acogida UC (CAUC) where she became eager to learn about the world, María José joined AISEC from 2011 to 2013 and helped the NGO promote youth leadership and intercultural understanding. She then worked at NSure B.V. and helped direct direct the technical and commercial areas of NSure Chile S.A. In 2015, she began to formally work in higher education as part of the International Affairs Team. Since 2018, María José has been in charge of looking for strategic partners and foreign funding opportunities to develop collaborative projects in educational and international initiatives. 

María José firmly believes that all people should be able to develop themselves professionally and personally regardless of their background. Thus, she advocates for equal opportunities and equal access to internationalization initiatives, which helps to develop greater intercultural sensitivity throughout the world. 

IVLP Impact Award Project: Support for Equity and Decentralization of Female Entrepreneurship in STEAM in Chile

While Chile has great potential in women's innovation and entrepreneurship in STEAM areas, there is a gap of women leadership in this area with regard to activities, knowledge and tools for business and entrepreneurship. Although the Chilean government has promoted several funding opportunities for innovation, the Chilean Economic Development Agency (CORFO) found that only 27.6% of innovation initiatives are led by women. Additionally, few universities teach their STEAM students how to start a business. The COVID pandemic also regressed the rate of women's participation in business in Chile.

This project delivered knowledge on how to begin a new business in a STEAM field and helped decentralize knowledge and opportunities by providing entrepreneurial tools and knowledge to women in various locations throughout Chile. The project was executed through a series of 7 virtual workshops that provided business tools for the participants. The modules covered topics such as business models, intellectual property, development of minimum viable products (MVP) and the importance of diverse teamwork. The target participants were people who identify as women, focusing particularly on Chilean STEAM students and graduates. There were 55 participants chosen from diverse academic background and regions to participate in the project. After the completion of the project, the content remained available online through the website and accessible for anyone interested. Social media posts were also published to spread the content.

IVLP Exchange Experience 

Maria José was a participant in the IVLP Project: A Global Moment in Time: Reflections on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility, organized by the U.S. Department of State and Meridian International Center.

Maria José's exchange experience led to the development of her IVLP Impact Award Project: "My IVLP experience surpassed all the expectations I had before the program started. I had the pleasure of meeting incredible people doing incredible things around the world from different disciplines and in different aspects. However, they had one goal in common: to make a better world for every person."

U.S. Communities Visited Virtually

Phoenix, AZ; Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Colorado Springs, CO; Washington, DC; Orlando, FL; Chicago, IL; Boston, MA; Detroit, MI; Kalamazoo, MI; Minneapolis, MN; Cleveland, OH; Portland, OR

Country: Chile

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