José Manuel "Pericles" Pérez

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2007
Related TopicsChildren & Youth


This profile was prepared when José Manuel "Pericles" Pérez was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
Pericles focuses on building a new entrepreneurial culture among youth—essential to creating new employment opportunities in today’s global economy and solving our social challenges. To fully transform society, Pericles knew he must influence large numbers of people at an early age. There should be a shared societal understanding that not only a few can make a difference, but all. Pericles is able to reach the largest number of youth in schools.
The training in schools must be consistent and long-term. To do this, he integrated the “Educational Chain System for Entrepreneurship” into schools’ official curriculum. Pericles’ system of entrepreneurial learning begins with students in the early grades and builds on the knowledge and experience gained each year, through various educational paths, until the students are prepared to enter the workforce. Moreover, Pericles’ believes that childhood is a time of life in which entrepreneurial values are best transmitted; children have the confidence to take risks when they are given opportunities and, of course, the chance to make mistakes.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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