The most interesting part of the adaptation process, both for me and for the staff at UVG Altiplano, is learning about the details of the local businesses in the markets. Discovering the costs of the goods, the history of the business, the competitive factors that exist in the market and trying to capture these to change the examples in each of the lessons.
We are simultaneously translating the curriculum and plan to produce two versions in Spanish – one for tourist businesses and one for agricultural businesses. (I hope to use my time on the airplane back to the US to translate these back into English for those interested).
In addition, we are building a tool to measure the outcome of the use of the Barefoot MBA. The staff at UVG-Altiplano has already done quite a lot of work with many of the small businesspeople in the markets, most of whom are women, to understand their lives, how they survive from their businesses, and where it may be possible to make small improvements. We are creating a tool to try to measure their businesses, what they sell, how many, and at what profit, to understand how their businesses function before the Barefoot MBA curriculum, so that we can measure similar aspects in the weeks and months following the Barefoot MBA. This will, we hope, finally provide a way to measure the outcome.
We heard from the participants in Thailand that they appreciated the lessons and wanted more. However, we do not know if the participants remembered the lessons, if they were able to make the changes they discussed, or if their businesses were more successful (as we hope). Our hope is that this tool will provide a more objective measurement of the outcome.