Quotation marksBy partnering with the right people, we can have the impact that we will not be able to do alone”

Meet Pablo Santaeufemia, co-founder and CEO of Bridge for Billions. He spoke to ANDE about their endeavors to reshape economies and empower communities worldwide. Watch and read him here.

Member Spotlight B4B 2024 by ANDE Latin America

The world is full of entrepreneurial potential, and the need to create strong entrepreneurial ecosystems is pressing. At the heart of Bridge for Billions mission lies a steadfast commitment to empower diverse early-stage entrepreneurs, igniting a transformative ripple effect that fuels economic growth and catalyzes solutions to social and environmental challenges.
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Why do you do what you do?

We define ourselves as a network of entrepreneurship programs for early-stage entrepreneurs.

Our approach involves designing and implementing tailored entrepreneurship programs, collaborating directly with entrepreneurs or through partnerships with local organizations and other Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESOs). Our goal is to ensure that entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds can thrive, accessing the resources they need to to create solutions, employment opportunities, and contribute to sustainable economic development.

How does Bridge for Billions build… bridges?

We partner with all kinds of organizations, corporations, foundations, local governments, international development agencies,  to create programs for very specific groups of entrepreneurs. Whether aligning with corporations within their value chain or collaborating with governments to support underrepresented entrepreneurs, our aim is to democratize access to entrepreneurship support, thereby catalyzing development.

Tell us about one exciting program you are working today.

Currently, Bridge for Billions is in an growing stage across multiple regions, including Southern Europe, the US, Central America, Southeast Asia, and East and West Africa. We are at a point where every partner really matters for us.

We are really looking for long-term partnerships that help us and propel our growth, and for that, one project I will highlight that exemplifies our trajectory is the collaboration with ANDE, funded by USAID, known as Guate Progresa.

This initiative focuses on supporting entrepreneurs in water, hygiene, sanitation (WASH), and clean energy sectors in Guatemala, under ANDE’s Guatemala Entrepreneurship Development Initiative (GEDI).

What inspired the partnership Guate Progresa?
And, how does it serve the Guatemalan people?

Quotation marksWe are partnering with ANDE because we believe in the transformative potential of  these strategic sectors in Guatemala. For us, it’s really critical to focus on underrepresented groups such as women and entrepreneurs with limited economic means. By supporting these entrepreneurs, we can really create the development that Guatemala deserves.

How does collaborating in a network advance your goals?

We are not experts in all the sectors, and because of that, part of our global strategy is to focus on identifying key partners. In the case of GEDI (Guate Progresa), we are partnering with GREMIAGRO, Water For People, and with IEC. This enables us to create a comprehensive program tailored to the needs of entrepreneurs.

These partnerships extend beyond capacity building sessions to encompass program design, entrepreneur scouting, and investor connections. We, as Bridge for Billions, provide the framework for collaboration, but by leveraging the expertise of these partners helps us customize and better support entrepreneurs. This way we enhance the impact of our initiatives and contribute to the overall development of the ecosystem.

Another critical aspect is working with partners that can visit and connect with entrepreneurs and with the mentors, which is something that we don’t have the capacity to do in all the corners of the world where we operate. By partnering with the right people, we can have the impact that we will not be able to do alone.

How does ANDE´s mission align with Bridge for Billions strategy?

As an organization committed to leveraging entrepreneurship for development, our collaboration with ANDE exemplifies this shared goal. By supporting entrepreneurs in key sectors in Guatemala, we contribute to the economic advancement of the region.

Making sure we assist entrepreneurs with growth potential who are are generating solutions for the problems that matter  is key to driving development. That’s why collaborating with ANDE on initiatives like Guate Progresa was an easy decision for us. We’re dedicated to fostering economic transformation by empowering entrepreneurs, both locally and globally.

What does Bridge for Billions bring to other ANDE members?

As an Entrepreneurship Support Organization ourselves, being a member of ANDE presents a significant opportunity. It allows us to connect with other organizations facing similar systemic challenges, not just within one region, but globally.

Operating across different continents, we value the sense of community and connection that ANDE offers. It enables us to engage with partners in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America, enhancing our collaborative efforts. Additionally, ANDE facilitates local engagement, as demonstrated by our recent meeting with their team in Mexico, which helped us to identify strategic partners and gain insights into local ecosystems. This invaluable to our work.

So, in the end, we always say that together we are stronger, this is something that we really believe in and ANDE represents that for us.

Explore Bridge for Billions’ work.
Produced for ANDE Global by Lina Cano
Video credit: Bridge for Billions

ANDE members have access to a multitude of platforms for promoting their work and co-creating knowledge with other members. The ANDE Member Spotlight is a series of short, interview-based blog posts highlighting an ANDE member organization and any new projects, recent investments, or ongoing research with interesting learnings that add value to the ANDE community.