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CEN eNewsletter - August 2010                                                               Contact Us

In this issue...

Bob Bortner writes from the Amazon
Dona Luciene - the tailor of Suruacá
From shelters in the Andes to the streets of Seattle - remarkable CEN volunteer Alicia Craven
Allyson Fritz explores the crucial question: Why focus on entrepreneurship?
We examine: Business skills vs. Entrepreneurial skills
How You Can Help

Letter from the Director

BobWhile in Suruacá in July I met with most of the cCLEAR program participants, the CEN initiative to unearth and encourage entrepreneurs in small communities. This was the first time I’d been back here since launching cCLEAR two years ago. I noticed a lot of changes.

About 10 new families have moved here, bringing the total to about 115. And many more people had cellphones and TVs, despite the fact that there isn’t regular electricity in the community. To read more about life in the remote Amazon region of Brazil, check out Bob's latest blog entries.

Bob Bortner
CEN Founder and Director

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cClear Participant Profile: Luciene Souza dos Santos - the tailor of Suruacá

by Jake Lynch

Dona Luciene and a sample of her garments for women Luciene Souza dos Santos constantly impresses the Community Empowerment Network field workers with her optimism, enthusiasm to improve her business, and an ability to implement new ideas and processes.

She is truly a star of the cCLEAR program, and CEN is watching her progress with interest.

Dona Luciene, 32, is a skilled tailor, who hopes to build a successful clothes workshop, following in the footsteps of her father. CEN is helping Dona Luciene build her business so she can secure her family's future. Dona Luciene's inspiring story is featured in our latest cCLEAR participant profile.

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CEN volunteer Alicia Craven

by Jake Lynch

CEN volunteer Alicia Craven Alicia, who helps produce the CEN newsletter, and writes field work reports and grant applications, recently spent nine months in the Ecuadorian city of Cuenca, during which time she worked with victims of domestic violence.

This work built upon Alicia's experience volunteering in homeless shelters here in the U.S. As a youngster, Alicia and her sister tutored children in shelters in Oregon.

"My mom always placed a lot of importance on doing volunteer work," Alicia said. "Our parents helped instill the value of thinking about what's happening around you - of the little things you can do to affect that experience."

Alicia's is a great example of the many passionate people who are not only contributing to CEN but also expanding their worldview and connecting with individuals and communities all over the world. Discover what she loves about CEN and the difference it makes at www.endruralpoverty.org.

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How fostering entrepreneurs can build sustainable communities

by Allyson Fritz

Nurturing new business development ideas creates new jobs and revenue opportunities.

Of all the areas of social and economic development in which CEN could invest its energy, why focus on entrepreneurship?

When asked directly to identify the biggest obstacles they faced, residents of the Amazonian communities where CEN is engaged expressed concerns over the lack of stable and consistent means of generating income.

Nurturing and encouraging new, grassroots business development ideas creates new jobs and revenue opportunities, rather than relying upon the existing sources, which are limited. Read more at the EmpowerBlog.

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From the EmpowerBlog: Entrepreneurs the key to finding new solutions to old problems

by William Ciskowski

Entrepreneurs see opportunities for income generation where there were none before. In order to build sustainable livelihoods for themselves and their families, residents of rural communities in developing countries need to become entrepreneurs.

The major problem in these communities is not just the lack of business skills; it is also the lack of opportunities. There are few jobs available, which leaves people to either continue with traditional occupations, which are often financially inadequate, or become an entrepreneur and start new a new business for themselves.

Entrepreneurs see and create opportunities for income generation where there were none before. Learn more about the importance of helping entrepreneurs in small communities at the CEN EmpowerBlog.

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How You Can Help

By donating as little as a few dollars a week, you can help vulnerable developing communities in the Amazon become independent and sustainable.

Your donation helps CEN help villagers build their own grassroots industries, supporting local communities from within. By growing local businesses, your donation to CEN creates local jobs, breaks the cycle of poverty, puts young children in school, and increases access to capital and training.

Click the icon above to make a gift online using secure PayPal.

For more information about how you can help CEN continue this valuable work, contact CEN Founder and Director Bob Bortner.

We thank you for your continued support!

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Also with every dollar you spend, you'll be earning donations for us!

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Jake Lynch

Contributing Writers

Bob Bortner
William Ciskowski
Allyson Fritz

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