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Abstract

This research is based on a social project developed by undergraduate students of Economics and Business Administration degrees of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at the Escuela Superior Politecnica del Litoral (ESPOL). In this setting, students had the opportunity to transfer their academic knowledge to support the empirical knowledge of poor people through the community service in order to enhance their social entrepreneurship in a vulnerable sector. The aim of the study is to present results based on the experiences with the application of the service learning methodology. This includes the participation of undergraduate students with the technical knowledge and a vulnerable community with entrepreneurial spirit and empirical skills as a source of income for their improvement of social economical situation. During the teaching-learning process, each ESPOL student provides personal assistance to a participant in the class sessions. This means that beneficiaries have the opportunity to count on academic and technical support to reinforce their understanding in a business context. Additionally, this project involves extracurricular activities such as hands on workshops, field observation for market research and recreational activities to improve the understanding of the material provided. This qualitative inquiry seeks to determine whether applied methodology in this project benefits or yields a significant impact in the community. It also aims to find out how the for the undergraduate students transfer their knowledge and develop entrepreneurial skills and competencies of the beneficiaries. The qualitative techniques used to gather information were: field observation, interviews, surveys, focus groups. These data sources contribute to the analysis of the process during the intervention period. This study presents as relevant results, successful business ideas for future entrepreneurs, experiences with the knowledge management issues in students and identification of practices that have positively involved the students, advisors and other participants.

Authors

Vaca, Gonzalo;  Quinteros, Aleyda

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