Guatemala’s SIFE team after the National Cup in June 2006

The SIFE-UFM team obtained, in Paris, the SIFE Spirit Award during the Students In Free Enterprise World Cup celebrated from September 11-13th 2006.

More than 40 teams from the same number of countries participated in that competition, and Guatemala was represented for the third consecutive time by the team from Universidad Francisco Marroquín since they are the three time champions of the national cup.

“The judges congratulated us, they were impressed with what we have accomplished”, said Jennifer Starey, SIFE-UFM alumni that assisted to the competition as an observer.

“During the competition, in the first round the teams are divided in 8 leagues, from which two teams of each league pass to the following round.  Guatemala was the first team to compete; the other countries in our league were United States of America, Philippines, Thailand, Slovenia and Senegal.  Unfortunately we did not pass to the second round; but the SIFE-UFM team, once more, showed its unbreakable entrepreneurial spirit, their passion and enthusiasm winning the SIFE Spirit Award”, she added.

The UFM team presenters were Cristina Galindo, Elizangela Gutiérrez, Luis Fernando Contreras, Valeria Maza, Jimena Benítez and Evelyn Juárez.  As supporting crew were Victor Chang, Gladys Francia and Karl Gossman and the Faculty Advisor Helmuth Chávez.  Dieter Hernández, Jennifer Starey and Irene Pérez were observers and Carla de Hess was a special guest.

The final results of the world cup are: China, first place; and the United States of America with the second place.

Students In Free Enterprise is a project that started at the UFM in 2003 to teach the community members principles of free market economics, leadership, entrepreneurship, financial skills and business ethics.  The students have the opportunity to practice their acquired knowledge and help people live a better life.

The SIFE-UFM students have made projects with children, where they are taught how to determine costs, produce, sell and analyze a product; indigenous artisans, who were helped to define their costs, raise their sales and widen their business contacts, among others.  In other projects, like the stock exchange competition, they made a virtual contest where the participants buy and sell stock, bonds and other financial products.