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ATD Blog

Learning in the Palm of Your Hand

Friday, April 29, 2022

In Santo Domingo Norte in the Dominican Republic, Benita Bautista helps her disabled daughter get to bed. After working a 12-hour day, reviewing building plans for their new home, and cooking for her family, she’s filled with the familiar exhaustion that many parents who work full time and have a child with a disability share.

But Benita’s exhaustion isn’t stronger than her drive. Benita’s dream to expand her business, create a better life for her daughter, and set up her family for success motivates her to keep going. It was this same desire for professional and personal growth that motivated her to sign up for the Esperanza App.

Benita was unable to finish high school, but the app afforded her the flexibility to complete more than 20 lessons on her own schedule. She took what she learned in a business course for small entrepreneurs and combined it with what she’s heard from listening to her customers to create a business plan. As a result, Benita acquired the capital to build a larger house. It’s all part of her plan to expand her drink business into a local resale store, improve her daughter’s quality of life, and increase her monthly income by renting out the home where she currently lives.

For Benita, none of this would have been possible without MoveUp and the Esperanza App.

Benita Bautista -- MoveUp
Benita Bautista in her home in Santo Domingo Norte in the Dominican Republic.


MoveUp is a Caribbean-based social enterprise. It provides individuals from under-resourced communities with access to the actionable knowledge they need to create significant change in their lives.


MoveUp is led by the belief that change only happens from the grassroots up. It takes a user-led approach when it comes to creating content to equip users with the content most relevant to their needs. As MoveUp’s chief strategic officer, I believe the most important thing that our organization can do continually is ask ourself, “How can we meet people where they are?”

It’s important not to prescribe content but to work with communities and individuals to understand their biggest pain points and desires and create content that meets their needs.

Benita’s story is one example of the many individuals who MoveUp has reached through digital microlearning. It’s developed more than 300 lessons and 44 courses to respond to users’ desires to grow on a personal and professional level. Courses range from basic business tips to preventative healthcare and relationship building.

Benita benefitted from these courses:

  • How to Run My Business in Times of Crisis. MoveUp wrote this course shortly after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide users with applicable tips to help their business survive while following new governmental regulations and safety protocols.
  • The Hurricane Season. This course came about after seeing how many users suffer physical damages to their homes and businesses each year due to tropical storms. It answers users’ questions about how to best prepare for the season to stay safe.
  • Basic Mathematics. Benita approached MoveUp for strategies on how to develop her own pastry business. Other users also expressed interest in starting bakeries and other food-service businesses that require basic knowledge of measurements. In response, MoveUp built out two courses on basic mathematics so users can follow a recipe and do necessary conversions at home.

In addition, new content for Benita is released monthly to help her reach her goals.

The Importance of Mobile Learning

Companies have started to incorporate mobile learning as part of a blended learning journey. However, for many people around the world, including MoveUp’s users, it’s the only accessible way for them to learn. Like Benita, most of the individuals MoveUp reaches had to leave high school before graduating to work or start their own businesses. MoveUp is ready to meet these individuals with applicable microlearning courses, designed just for them and accessible from their phones. Powered by EdApp, MoveUp delivers transformational training to thousands of individuals in the Dominican Republic so they can continue to learn instead of having to abandon the education system too early.

With limited resources, a mobile phone is the best way for MoveUp’s users to access life-changing content. Their true desire to learn is made possible through mobile learning, with access to the education they want and need in the palm of their hand.

As of today, MoveUp has helped more than 2,300 individuals like Benita through its communal efforts and mobile learning. To hear more about MoveUp, stories from its community of learners, and how you can apply its strategies to your business, join me at the ATD International Conference & EXPO on Sunday, May 15, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

About the Author

Marlena May Cuesta is the chief strategy director at MoveUp and is passionate about the intersection of entrepreneurship and education. Marlena works to coordinate strategic alliances and frameworks to scale MoveUp’s work. Through her work, Marlena empowers individuals with the actionable education and resources to transform their communities. Marlena is currently pursuing her MBA at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business.

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