Juan Camilo Caicedo

Where Juan is from

Bogota, Colombia

 

Interview

What was your dream when you were a kid? What was the reason?

I wanted to become an astronaut. I had a telescope at my house and loved to see the stars and the planets. I also had a lot of books about the space. I was very intrigued about our solar system and what was out there.

 

What was your dream when you were 18 years old? What was the reason?

I wanted to start a non profit organization to help the BoP of Bogotá. I was exposed to the needs of the poorest people of my city by my mother who volunteered in many foundations. This helped me to realized I was very fortunate and that there where things I could do for the people.

 

What made you start thinking about social entrepreneurship/social enterprises? When was that?

I was exposed by my mother to the many needs of poor people. On the other hand, my Father was an entrepreneur as my Grandparent, and they where able to create businesses that generated many employments. They were always working and making improvements not only to the brand and the products but constantly investing in giving better life standards to their employees. They were very protective and paternalistic.

I could say since I was 13 years old when I was able to realize all of the things my parents and family did this was embedded in me. Since then I have always very interested in social responsibility and non profits, but since I found out you can have the best of both worlds with social enterprises this got my attention around 10 years ago.

 

How much do you think social entrepreneurs play an important role in the world?

This is a movement that has been around since the 80`s, and today, almost 40 years, we have seen how important social enterprises have become and the role they are playing today in our world.

I can say today this type of organizations have become very important and some big philanthropy groups have turned their eye for them. This type of organizations are more important today as they have been in the last decades also because people have been able to see their importance and their results.

More than today the landscape for social entrepreneurship is gigantic. Many organizations will start migrate to this business model, with global warming and overpopulation we need to change the way we see business and social enterprises are the solution to it.

 

What would you say to future social entrepreneurs / those who are interested in social entrepreneurs?

People that want to be social entrepreneurs need to have a passion and love for what they do. They need to be true believers of what they are doing and be sure that they will succeed. This is a new and unexplored field, this is a business after all and it has many risks. By making profit while doing good is very exciting but very demanding, and they need to work hard for it. With no passion and love for this it will be impossible to succeed.

I will say to them that it is possible to be done, it will change for good many life’s and will make the world a better place, and with all this there is a lot of hard work to be done.

 

What is your favorite quote? Who said that quote?

“Power is given only to those who dare to lower themselves and pick it up. Only one thing matters, one thing; to be able to dare!” – Fyodor Dostoevsky

 

Who Juan is

Juan is a strong man. He has a strong will and he can say NO when he needs or wants to. I am not going to lie that he has never let me down by hearing a “No” from him. At the same time, he has impressed me by  showing me how strong he is. He does whatever he agrees with or convinces himself to do. It means that when he says Yes, he means Yes, nothing else. Once you persuade him, he will be your strong ally.

Juan is very loyal as well. He always call me “Mr. President” because I was one of the members of the student association at Hult International Business School. He has been a great friend and was very helpful whenever I asked him a favor.

Juan believes in himself and he sticks to his beliefs. I think that Juan is a lonely wolf amongst the MSEs (our classmates; Master of Social Entrepreneurship.) The way that he behaves is the way I always want to. Juan possesses many qualities that I respect.

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Awesome Episode

San Francisco is a nice place to bike, especially on Embarcadero Street. Juan and I did a bike ride on Embarcadero one day and stopped by Pier 23 for lunch because it was my favorite place for lunch or brunch. My favorite on the menu is the Tuna Burger, it is so yummy. We both ordered it and it made our day. We recalled the MSE (Master of Social Entrepreneurship) program, what we have done with our classmates and talked about the future that each of us will create.

It was such a beautiful day and the weather helped us to think positively. It turned out to be such a productive day with Juan that day.

Oh, of course we discussed Star Wars and the latest episode as well. We could not skip the topic since Juan is a big fan of Star Wars.

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The Power of MSE

What Juan is holding is a symbol called “go-en(ご縁)”, which means ‘fate’, ’destiny’ and ’special tie.’

I believe that it is meant to be that we met in San Francisco! I studied Social Entrepreneurship with Juan for a year, saying “We will make the world a better place.” I would love to spend the rest of my life with MSEs (Master of Social Entrepreneurship; my classmates) until the very day I die. They have already completely changed my life.

At the same time, however, I also think that we should not be together all the time, because that is not the reason why we learned Social Entrepreneurship. That is not how we will deliver the impact we want to give to society and to the world.

I think MSEs are like dandelions. We were seeded at the first day at Hult and we bloomed on our graduation day. Our mission is that we spread all over the world like dandelions and seed the future, the next generation, from each place where each of us has landed.

本当にありがとう(Honto ni Arigato-); Thank you very very much for everything!! The world needs you! Let’s make the world a better place together!!

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