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Active Engagement: International education is helping to spread the benefits of social entrepreneurship across the globe

The following is an excerpt from the  NAFSA: Association of International Educators Article published on May 30, 2007

Saying ‘Hello’ in a Foreign Language
Clay Cooper is filling that language niche in a new way with his company, Speak Shop. Cooper decided to fulfill the language requirement of his graduate program at the Thunderbird School of Global Management by studying and living in Guatemala. He met regularly with a local tutor who also taught English but earned only $1 to $1.50 an hour for his services.

T-bird Couple Connects Tutors and Students

This article was written by Wendy Perkins and appeared in the spring 2006 issue of “Thunderbird” magazine.

The seed was planted in the winter of 1998, when Clay Cooper ’00 traveled to Antigua, a beautiful, historic city in Guatemala, to soak up some culture and learn Spanish at an immersion school. the experience opened his eyes and touched his heart.

“The tutors were living in poverty,” says Cooper, who graduated with his wife, Cindy. “They were very bright and well-educated, but there was little demand for their services. There just weren’t enough people going there to study year-round.”

Speak the Language

Adoptive Families

March/April 2006

Here’s a chance to learn Spanish by speaking one-on-one with tutors in Guatemala – without even leaving your living room.  Speak Shop enables students around the world to take personalized Spanish lessons on their computer via videoconferencing, allowing for instant audio and visual

Adoptive Families Magazine, March/April 2006


Speak Shop Awarded 2006 Oregon InnoTech Innovation Award

Fair Trade Online Spanish Tutoring Company Recognized for Business Leadership and Innovation

Beaverton, OR (PRWEB) March 22, 2006 — Speak Shop,, a pioneer in online Spanish tutoring via webcam, announced today that it has been selected to receive the 2006 InnoTech Innovation Award.

Presented by the InnoTech Conference in Oregon, the InnoTech Innovation Awards spotlight and reward four Oregon companies for innovative development of a product or service.

Global Social Venture Competition Names Speak Shop Semi-Finalist

Fair Trade Online Spanish Tutoring Company Delivers Social and Financial Benefits

Beaverton, OR (PRWEB) February 16, 2006 — Speak Shop,, an award-winning pioneer in live online Spanish tutoring, has been named a semi-finalist in the Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC).

GSVC is a global business plan competition organized by the Berkeley Haas School of Business, Columbia Business School, London Business School and the Goldman Sachs Foundation.

International Inspiration for Business

Speak Shop’s lesson on the transformative power of the web
Article printed in Good Four Business, Monthly CSReport, Issue 11, November, 2005.

Opportunity meets community, in two places at once
When most international businesses apply voice and video conferencing, it’s for their own benefit. At Speak Shop, that’s one small part of the story. This Portland, Oregon-based company puts Web technologies to use in world-changing ways. And it works out well for everyone.

For Spanish language learners all over the world, Speak Shop provides an appealing alternative to cost- and time-prohibitive

Online Spanish Tutoring Brings Immersion Spanish Lessons to U.S. Medical and Legal Professionals

Professionals link up with private tutors in Guatemala from their home or office PCs.

Portland, OR (PRWEB) September 8, 2005 — Speak Shop,, is an award-winning pioneer in online foreign language tutoring. Medical and legal professionals use Speak Shop to take face-to-face Spanish lessons with experienced tutors in Guatemala — when they want, without leaving their desks. In one online system, working adults can choose a tutor, schedule lessons and take live lessons via webcam.
Hispanic immigration is motivating U.S.

Learn Spanish and Help Guatemalan Professionals: Speak Shop

Treehugger – A Discovery Company
by Paula Alvarado

Speak Shop is an online tutoring model that helps Guatemalan professionals to have better incomes while providing a comfortable platform to learn Spanish.

According to Cindy Cooper, co-founder, “the site was created to provide more job opportunities to impoverished but expert Spanish tutors in Guatemala and to harness videoconferencing as a tool for learning languages and for cross-cultural interaction”.

“It’s a fair trade marketplace where tutors set their own rates and hours and students choose freely among the options of tutors, prices and

Spanish Lessons for Better Tourism and a Better World

Article printed in Sustainable Travel Report, Vol. 3 No. 7, July 2005. The Sustainable Travel Report newsletter is available at

When you travel, knowing the local language can mean the difference between a good trip and a great one, staying healthy, getting lost or sitting on the most beautiful, silky sand beach you’ve ever seen.

Speak Shop is doing its part to promote healthier, happier trips to Spanish-speaking countries while helping to alleviate poverty in those countries.

Speak Shop Wins Top Honors in Business Plan Competition for Socially Responsible Tech Companies

Portland, OR (PRWEB) June 6, 2005 — Speak Shop,, a pioneer in online face-to-face Spanish tutoring, was awarded “Best Social Return on Investment” in the Social and Environmental Technology (SET) Inventors Challenge, tying with Differential Dynamics. The SET business plan competition challenges technology companies to save the world and investors to fund profitable solutions to global problems.

The SET Challenge attracted entries from around the world.