Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Baruch Journalism Students Cover Entrepreneurial #Cuba (Updated)

Four of the 11 Baruch College journalism students who joined Professor Andrea Gabor on a January 2015 enterprise reporting trip to Cuba.  

Last month, 11 Baruch College journalism students, led by Prof. Andrea Gabor (Bloomberg Professor of Business Journalism), left for Havana as part of a January-term class on Covering Emerging Entrepreneurship in Cuba. Professor Gabor has just published a fascinating post on her own blog about their life-changing educational adventure. The students spent eight days in Cuba and reported on the recent economic changes instituted under President Raul Castro, especially in the growing small-business sector of so-called cuentapropistas, which now includes close to 500,000 Cubans, triple the number in 2010. The class arrived just weeks after President Obama and President Castro announced their historic détente, which will open Cuba to more American goods and visitors and establish formal relations between the countries.

The students met with a wide range of experts on Cuban business and culture, including Univ. of Havana academics, filmmakers, and Cuba Emprende, a private non-profit that helps train new entrepreneurs in Cuba. They also interviewed over a half-dozen small-business owners about the new opportunities and challenges they face. The students produced a rich trove of stories—in both print and multi-media—about the rise of women entrepreneurs in Cuba; an experimental, sustainable farm just outside Havana that supplies the burgeoning sector of paladares, or independent restaurants; the gray market in information entertainment distributed via computer memory devices; and much more. 

To see the stories, please click on HERE

The trip took a year to plan and involved the help of many people both at Baruch and in Cuba. At Baruch, special thanks go to Prof. Joshua Mills and the Journalism Department; Dean Jeff Peck and Boo Choi; Dr. Richard Mitten and his colleagues in study abroad; and Prof. Ted Henken.

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