Educational and Sustainable Tourism

Outown Colombia

4. Quality Education 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities

Overview

Tourism in Colombia is one of the most important activities that contribute to the development and economic growth of the country, generating more employment and opportunities for the entire community.

Times have changed and visitors are demanding other types of tourism compared to the traditional one. For some years now, sustainable or ecological tourism has been implemented, which gives tourists the opportunity to live a 100% local experience in a rural environment, where they can connect with nature and the customs of the region.

On the other hand, people from rural areas have been migrating to large cities with the aim of seeking better opportunities to improve their quality of life. As a result of the latter, many entrepreneurs have seen the need to help create opportunities to prevent people from rural areas from leaving their homes and their way of life.

Given this situation, a great idea has arisen to integrate rural experience with business knowledge, in order to potentiate the development of ventures that allow sustainable business models over time.

Authors

Luisa Fernanda Guerrero Corredor

Luisa Fernanda Guerrero Corredor

Cristian Camilo Ramirez Cubides

Cristian Camilo Ramirez Cubides

School

Universidad Externado de Colombia

Universidad Externado de Colombia

Professor

Gustavo A Yepes López

Gustavo A Yepes López

Innovation

Outown Colombia is an organization that seeks to connect students with rural entrepreneurs in order to solve some challenges in the regions, with the purpose of closing the inequality gap between the rural and urban areas.

Julián Pedreros, founder of the company, initiated the project from a perspective of sustainable tourism, giving many people the opportunity to live local experiences in a rural environment. However, he understood that there was another challenge, which was to create some type of collaboration between students, rural entrepreneurs and the organization. Therefore, he designed an educational program that gives rural entrepreneurs the opportunity to increase their motivation and also improves the transfer of knowledge from students.

Thus, through partnerships with different universities in the country, Outown managed to present its project in different entrepreneurship, innovation, CSR and sustainable development courses, which has helped in finding students to join the project and carry out the local development entrepreneurship.

Inspire, create and transform are the three main pillars of the project, which allow the rural entrepreneur to be part of the courses, and the student to receive the inspiration from the countryside.

Currently, the project team consists of 16 families of rural entrepreneurs in different regions of Colombia and 4 professionals who lead the organization and make everything possible.

Educational and Sustainable Tourism

Inspiration

During a trip, Julián Pedreros lived an experience of immersion in the countryside, which generated in him an indescribable satisfaction and "from that moment, I decided to stop working with managers in multinationals, in a corporate life, and I started to work with these rural entrepreneurs ," says the founder, to later specify that "in 2014 we had the idea of making a rural tourism company, and then we realized that we could do more things from education, setting up the company in July 2015 ."

Overall impact

Outown Colombia seeks to end the social inequality gap by generating sustainable, sophisticated and quality enterprises, through which rural entrepreneurs themselves see the possibility of staying in their homeland with fruitful work. This allows them to preserve their identity, customs and take care of the environment where they live.

This program also leads the mobilization of students to the rural area so that they can strengthen learning, which stimulates local development. With this, there is an increase in both learning options and tourist destinations, along with a process of awareness among the students themselves.

Business benefit

To be part of this project, students of universities that have agreements with Outown must pay a fee of COP$70,000. From the total fee amount, 70% is reinvested in the rural entrepreneurs who are part of the program, leaving 30% for the company to cover general expenses. Therefore, the business is 100% self-sustaining and has the chance to grow progressively and positively impact society.

Social and environmental benefit

The countryside benefits from the presence of students who are genuinely interested in its preservation and development, while the students create bonds with the rural entrepreneurs who live in the area. Thus, alliances are created that in the future could turn into projects of benefit for both parties.

This promotes publicizing the countryside as an attractive tourist destination for a growing public and strengthens the ties between people from different social classes, which stimulates their collaboration and understanding and helps to maintain the entrepreneurial projects that occur in the region. All of these occur in a framework of equality among the participants, while looking after their interests and welfare, as well as the environment that serves as a space for activities.

Interview

Julián Pedreros, Julián Pedreros

Photo of interviewee

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Outown Colombia

Outown Colombia

Bogotá D.C, Bogotá D.C, CO

Business Website: http://outown.co/

Year Founded: 2015

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

Outown Colombia is an organization that seeks to connect students with rural entrepreneurs in order to solve some challenges in the regions, with the purpose of closing the inequality gap between the rural and urban areas.