During three consecutive years the SIFE-UFM team has been champion at the Students In Free Enterprise National Competition, competing with other teams from Guatemalan Universities.
The feat was repeated last June 7th 2006 when, besides the First Place, the SIFE-UFM team won four more trophies: for their outstanding work teaching financial literacy, for their outstanding work teaching entrepreneurship, for their outstanding work teaching market economics in a global environment.
For the students of the Francisco Marroquín University, an educational organization whose mission is to teach and diffuse the ethical, juridical and economic principles of a society of free and responsible persons, it was a very emotive moment not only to win the first place, but also to win the other awards.
“It is a great joy to know we are on the right track. We have been raising the competition level every year to represent Guatemala and the UFM”, said Luis Pedro Mirón who has participated in the three national championships, with the winning team of this house of studies. “Our projects are based on the UFM’s mission and SIFE’s pillars, looking forward to promote free markets and entrepreneurship”, he added.
Cristina Galindo said that “this award gives us the opportunity to show the world how much we can do for Guatemala; how great it is to help other people to make great changes in their lives, even with little things; and let them see that we have a lot to give in Guatemala”.
The SIFE-UFM team is coordinated by Helmuth Chávez, Vice-dean of the Business School and has the enthusiasm of Mónica de Zelaya, from the Economic Sciences School. The team has 35 members, and seven of them presented the projects in the championship: Cristina Galindo, Evelyn Juárez, Edwin Xol, Luis Fernando Contreras, Jimena Benítez, Elizangela Gutiérrez and Valeria Maza.
Students In Free Enterprise bases its philosophy in 5 pillars: Market economics, success skills, entrepreneurship, financial literacy and business ethics. The purpose of the SIFE teams is to make projects where they can apply these principles; and in the world cup there are more than 39 countries participating.
Once a year there is a National Championship in which the winner is chosen to represent the country at the SIFE World Cup. The jury was integrated by different entrepreneurs and businessmen.
Their proposal included several projects like the markets in schools, the making and commercialization of traditional Guatemalan candies, the commercialization and diversification of traditional apparel and coffee; two bakeries; microcredit assessment; and the cooperation with other SIFE teams in the United States and France.
As a consequence of this triumph, the SIFE-UFM team will represent Guatemala at the SIFE World Cup that will be celebrated in Paris, September 11th to 13th of 2006.
At the local competition where Geovanny Vielmann, Latin America SIFE coordinator was present, the other participating SIFE teams were Galileo University, second place, Rafael Landívar University and San Carlos de Guatemala University.