URUGUAUY, via www.providencia.org.uy •
Matea is the first social technology company in Uruguay and was born in the Centro Educativo Providencia with the intention of impacting the education of children in the Cerro area, and change the sustainability paradigm of the center.—
Matea arises after a long process of reflection and research. “With the desire to grow, develop new projects, expand or improve those we already have and generate our own resources, we began to investigate other forms of funding from other social organizations in the world. We found that there were many organizations in the United States, and some countries in Europe, that had this type of financing, that is, ventures that generate their own funds and that also directly impact the organization’s mission,” said Laura Voituret, general manager of Providencia.
That’s how we started a path of much learning and work. In 2017, with the support of Socialab, we carried out a market study to identify possible ideas for new ventures. Then, with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), we formed the first work team that was able to validate the idea of generating a technology venture. “Little by little we began to see how a project that we started with a lot of effort, work and dedication would materialize. We felt great satisfaction in seeing our dreams come true, thanks to the support and commitment of many people and institutions that trusted us,” Laura added.
A social enterprise that contributes to the sustainability of Providencia
Today Matea has the support of the Citi Foundation and the National Agency of Research and Innovation (ANII), which allows it to be operating and projecting itself into the future with a solid team of young professionals who are eager to grow.
Matea fulfills three fundamental purposes:
- To achieve the long-term sustainability of Providencia, through the generation of its own funds;
- To offer software agency services to small and medium national and international companies and;
- To train young people around the area in programming for their integration into the labor market (what has been called Matea Academy).
The agency services cover three main areas:
- Web page development
- Application development
- Development with other software companies, which need an extension of their team due to lack of time or different expertise and outsource the service.
The first programmers
With great joy, together with the young people who were trained in programming, we closed the first course of Matea Academy in October. “Congratulations to the young people who, with much joy and effort, went through this training path and are starting a new stage as programmers,” said Laura.
Currently, Matea is focused on accompanying the students in their labor insertion and continue growing to expand the portfolio of clients, since one of the great objectives of the Centro Educativo Providencia is to depend less on the logic of donations.
“The technology sector is growing, so we are confident that many opportunities can be opened up, both for the children and for MATEA as a development agency,” said Laura.
The Centro Educativo Providencia is located in the Casabó neighborhood, Cerro Oeste (Montevideo, Uruguay). It currently works with 700 children, youth and their families through 5 educational programs: Community House, Children’s Club, High School, Youth Center and Job Training Program. Providencia is a project of the Schoenstatt Movement in Uruguay.
Original: Spanish 2020-11-20. Translated by Maria Aragón, Monterrey, México