One might say Colombian sisters Karen, Stephanie and Daniela Carvajalino were born with the entrepreneurial spirit. At the tender ages of six, seven and eight the precocious trio set out to sell home made chocolates to their neighbors. With hard nosed business guidance from their parents, the girls turned what could’ve been a youthful whim into a legitimate business Chococar.
Youngest sister Stephanie recalls her parents using Chococar as a tool to teach her and her sisters the responsibilities of each position integral to running a business.
“We were raised with the philosophy of using different learning styles,” said Stephanie. “Our parents encouraged us to develop our own individual abilities and strengths.”
Daniela found she had a knack for numbers and readily managed the finances. Karen embraced day to day operations and Stephanie seemed to be a born salesperson. Together, the three sisters made a perfect team.
It wasn’t long before community leaders and leading institutions took notice of the exceptional Caravajalino sisters. The young girls found themselves speaking about entrepreneurship and education to various audiences using their own personal story to inspire others.
In 2015, Stephanie, Daniela and Karen launched a new business Cookies and Cookies – a laboratory themed cookie shop where customers create their own edible concoctions through mixing cookie dough, ice cream and toppings.
The wildly successful Cookies and Cookies expanded to eight locations and even captured the attention of the White House! In 2016, the Carvajalino sisters were asked to participate in the prestigious Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Silicon Valley.
As entrepreneurial role models to a younger generation, the Carvajalino sisters knew they must do more to empower bright boys and girls everywhere – especially those raised with less opportunity.
The team developed an online educational platform called The Biz Nation with the intent to educate and enable a new generation of young entrepreneurs. The sisters looked toward their home country Colombia as a starting point.
“We are focused on teaching technological skills so young entrepreneurs can get a better job or even start their own business,” said Stephanie.
The Biz Nation provides online courses focused on financial education and entrepreneurship. A portion of the startup’s revenue funds educational programs in vulnerable communities.
Stephanie says the sites methodology sets it apart from other online learning portals.
“Our specific methodology is specialized to increase the success rate and the completion rate of our courses. We identify user’s’ learning needs and use visual, auditory and kinesthetic styles to teach,” said Stephanie.
Since its launch in June, The Biz Nation was named the company “Most Likely to Expand Internationally” at the renowned eMerge Americas Conference. The Carvajalino sisters were also invited to participate as delegates at One Young World, the preeminent global forum for young leaders from around the world developing solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues.
“This is one of our biggest accomplishments,” said Stephanie. “We were not only there as delegates but we also had the opportunity to present The Biz Nation in an education panel as a solution for challenges facing education.”
Through The Biz Nation, the Carvajalino sisters aim to impact 2 million young people and 200,000 educators in 20 countries by the year 2022.
“We are changing education radically right now. We MUST prepare kids for technological jobs,” said Stephanie.
The Biz Nation is currently headquartered at IgniteHQ where Stephanie, Daniela and Karen are working on expanding the platform.