5 Topics of the Month + Highlight: Pro Mujer Marketing Plan

Not as many things have happened in the last month so I’ve limited this post to 5 topics including a highlight section on the Marketing Plan I created for Pro Mujer.  Same labels as before: (w) work related, (p) personal life.

Highlight:  Marketing Plan (w)

  1. Pro Mujer (w)
  2. MF Corner (w)
  3. UTexas Baseball (p)
  4. Pairumani (p)
  5. Cochabamba (p)


Highlight:  Partner with Pro Mujer to Reach Bolivia’s Poorest Women

I have created a comprehensive Marketing Plan for Pro Mujer – Cochabamba, Bolivia so the Organization can reach the poorest women in the Cochabamba region.  Pro Mujer is unique in that the Organization provides numerous social services (business training,  basic healthcare, nutrition courses, insurance products, child educational assistance, etc) not found at many for-profit MFIs.

FSD - B&WMarketing is particularly important within MFIs because the target poor populations are often unaware and suspicious of the products and services available to them through organizations like Pro Mujer.  Marketing is both cost and labor intensive therefore necessitating a major commitment from an organization.  Pro Mujer has recently built a Promotion Team and is allocating resources to the effort . Yet, additional resources are needed.

Pro Mujer reps promoting to a group of rural women

Pro Mujer reps promoting to a group of rural women

The Plan consists of creating a Marketing Manual, mandating periodic training sessions, investing into promotional materials, and establishing a Monitoring and Evaluation Program.  I am seeking funding from various sources including grant organizations; I will send my grant proposal to anyone who requests  it.  The overall cash budget exceeds $2,500 and I would like you to consider partnering in the Project.

A donation of any size can go a long way in Bolivia – no amount is too small.  All donations are tax-deductible (USA) and will go through the Foundation for Sustainable Development(FSD).  You can see a project description and donate in under 5 minutes at the following website:


Hope you consider partnering with Pro Mujer!

*FUNDRAISING IS OVER!  Thanks for all the support (7/1)*


1. The last few months at Pro Mujer has been a rich learning experience.  The current Director took over his post in March and has committed to minimizing inefficiencies and improving working conditions of employees.  The global economic crisis has affected even the poorest classes here in Bolivia.  Default rates are rising and the Organization is allocating additional capital to fight the storm.  The Organization recognizes many of the problems facing the most economically challenged classes can be aided by simple business training and an emphasis on maintaining savings accounts.Micro-finance-cartoon

2. Microfinance Corner III(read MFI & MFII from previous blogs) – The microfinance platform goes beyond providing credit to poor individuals.  Microfinance has been successful building communities through housing projects, creating agricultural cooperatives to gain greater stability and negotiating power, and spreading the use of green energy in areas with limited traditional infrastructure (coal, natural gas, hydroelectric).  Nevertheless, although microfinance is vast in it’s breath, one must recognize its limited depth.  Microfinance is not a blueprint to solve each instance of poverty.  Political instabilities and failed economic policies have inhibit microfinance in some countries (Somalia, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan) necessitating a different or combined strategy.  Poor countries with more stability have had more success depending on microfinance to combat poverty (Bangladesh, Bolivia and Peru).  Myanmar (Burma) is an exception as microfinance has been successful in midst of a military dictatorship.  Microfinance does have some capacity to combat fundamental problems within a society.  Many of the following are byproducts of the presence of MFIs in parts of the underdeveloped world: increased women’s rights, social mobility, indigenous rights, energy independence, social equality between ethnic groups, decreasing child malnutrition and mortality rates, and environmental protection.

The Tower when UT won the CWS title, June 2005

The Tower when UT won the CWS title, June 2005

3.  The University of Texas Baseball Team will continue its quest for a 7th national title Monday (22nd) night against LSU in the College World Series (CWS) finals.  UT is no stranger to the CWS as they recently won the 2005 and 2002 CWS titles.  The Longhorns were seeded the overall #1 team in the country going into the 2009 post-season.  This may be a demon to battle as no #1 team has won the CWS since 1999.  Nevertheless, the Longhorns have had a magical post-season run by recording a 25-inning win (longest in the history of CWS) against Boston College and Friday night’s 9-inning heroics (2 HRs) against Arizona State for a come-from-behind victory.  Winning the 3 game series against LSU will be difficult given the exceptional pitching, hitting and fielding LSU brings to the game… but the Longhorns do have an advantage in resilience and heart.  Prediction: Longhorns win the series in a low scoring, pitching duel in game 3 –  Go Horns!!

4.  It is nice to have a beautiful park footsteps from home.  A couple weeks ago I took a day trip to Paiurmani and had a blast.  The day included an easy hike to a waterfall and a relaxing picnic (wine, cheese, olives, meats, chocolate).  It was a fun day followed by randomly meeting some locals in a nearby small town and playing a dice game while drinking a local spirit out of a bucket – fun experience.  See pictures below:

Cochabamba is visible from here

Bolivia has a diverse landscape (lush to the left, canyons to the right)

Feeling Good

Feeling Good

Looks like the Lion King tree

Looks like the Lion King tree



The tree trunk was a natural cup holder

The tree trunk was a natural cup holder

My shoes doubled as wine bottle holders

My shoes doubled as wine bottle holders

5. My demanding work schedule has kept me from traveling too far but it has allowed me more opportunities to explore Cochabamba.  The city is a great mix of traditional Bolivian city with cultural experiences around every corner and a livable city with the modernity and comforts of the West.  The city has amazing food, good bars, and beautiful architecture.  I am going to miss this place!  See pictures below:





One of the views from my room - Statue of Cristo is on top of the hill to the right

A view from my room - Statue of Cristo is on top of the hill to the right

One of the views from my rooftop

One of the views from my rooftop

Random comments:

1. I did not get lucky and win a spot into the the New York marathon – probably a good thing.  My attempts at long distance running at this altitude (8,450 feet above sea level) have not been the most successful.

2. Can’t wait to start my 4 weeks of traveling (Salar de Uyuni, Tarija, Salta, Iguazu Falls, Florianopolis, Sao Paolo, Rio de Janiero)!!!

3. Will be in the northeast (D.C. & N.Y.) end of August and first couple weeks of September.  See many of you then.

4. Please consider partnering with Pro Mujer with a donation to the Marketing Plan I’ve created for the region.  Again, no donation is too small and the process is extremely simple – see the following webpage: www.fsdinternational.org/donate/projects/Thomas.  If you have any questions about donating, let me know!

Until next time – cheers,



One Response to “5 Topics of the Month + Highlight: Pro Mujer Marketing Plan”

  1. Subin Says:

    best use of shoes in 09.

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