For the past month, EXIT has hosted Ecuadorian entrepreneur, Marco Mendieta, as part of the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative, a program that empowers Latin American and Caribbean business and social entrepreneurs to increase their contributions to the economic development of their countries. Even though Marco works in the furnishings industry, we enjoyed talking branding, marketing and social media with him, as well as the successes and issues he has had with both. Though we live nearly 3,000 miles apart, we found many of the basic marketing principles to ring just as true with Marco as with our clients, including that a successful business starts with a strongly built brand.
Marco is an international mover and shaker, and we enjoyed getting to know him and working on his brand for the past few weeks – and we think you should meet him for yourself. Without further ado, Marco Mendieta!
My name is Marco Mendieta, and I am a 28- year-old Ecuadorian entrepreneur. For the last 5 weeks I’ve been in the U.S. enhancing my entrepreneurial skills with YLAI, or Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative.
5 years ago, back in my country, I co-funded an enterprise called Megamobilier. I believe the development of my community and nation begins by creating employment and self-employment opportunities through microenterprises and small business. My company achieves that by giving our costumers the means to start their own venture – we manufacture furniture for Hair Salons, Doctor’s Offices, Schools, Restaurants and Offices with high quality standards and innovative design. Apart from that, we believe in our people, that’s why almost 90% of our furniture is produced in Ecuador, with Ecuadorian labor force and raw materials.
For the past month, EXIT Marketing, owned by Shawn Solloway, has served as my work placement in Little Rock. I visited the agency three times a week, and the knowledge I have acquired here is priceless. We improved my company’s marketing by working on the positioning of my brand through my website, social media and other channels. They also helped me create and launch a social campaign to help the victims of a recent earthquake Ecuador suffered. In addition to sharing their expertise, EXIT arranged appointments for me to meet prominent business owners and manufactures related to my line of business.
Going through the YLAI program and working at EXIT has been one of the most enriching experiences I have ever had. The trainings, knowledge and skills acquired are invaluable. The things I learned, the new technology I was introduced to, the business ideas I gathered and the conversations I had far exceeded my expectations. I met so many incredible people, fellows, and friends. I had a lot of adventures, experiences and moments that will last forever. In Little Rock, I found friends that became family and that I’m going to miss so much. I, along with my YLAI colleagues, expect to make huge impacts in our respective communities, cities and countries and achieve bravely this global change we all pursue.