Approximately $3 million USD will be deployed over 12 months from USAID and private sector partners, including Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, Heifer International, among others in direct investment into entrepreneurial service organizations and SGBs.
Since 2021, GEDI has provided direct support to entrepreneurial service organizations. Approximately $3 million USD will be deployed to enable nine projects with economic, social, and environmental impact across Guatemala.
The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Guatemala, announced the eight organizations selected to receive funds under the second phase of the Guatemala Entrepreneurship Development Initiative (GEDI). The funds will enable Entrepreneurial Support Organizations (ESOs) to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystems and scale small and growing businesses (SGBs).
Since 2021, GEDI has provided direct support to ESOs to improve access to finance and markets for SGBs and more than 1,300 Guatemalan entrepreneurs. The second cohort of projects brings innovative solutions with economic, social, and environmental impact across the Guatemalan regions of Quetzaltenango, Alta Verapaz, Sololá, Sacatepéquez, Mazatenango, Izabal, San Marcos, Quiché, Huehuetenango, Chimaltengango, and Chiquimula.
“Advancing sustainable prosperity means more and better opportunities for all, which is only possible with combined efforts. GEDI brings together international and local partners with years of experience providing business development services to entrepreneurs” said Richenda Van Leeuwen, Executive Director at ANDE.
During GEDI´s announcement event, representatives from USAID, ANDE, civil society organizations, and the entrepreneurial sector celebrated the following organizations and their proposed projects:
- Asociación de Desarrollo Agrícola y Empresarial (ADAM) will facilitate improved value-added processing and market access for 140+ agri-food entrepreneurs in Quetzaltenango and Totonicapán.
- Asociación de Productores Orgánicos para el Desarrollo Integral del Polochic (APODIP) will support production and processing for more than 300 cocoa-producing families and create a second-tier associative company to access the European fine-flavor cocoa market. The consortium will also ensure 200,000 USD in financing for cocoa harvest processes.
- Bridge for Billions, together with its local expert partners, will impart business development training through its e-learning platform and 1:1 mentoring for 150 entrepreneurs.
- Fundación Solidaridad Latinoamericana, together with Lendahand and OikoCredit will increase SGB’s capacity on climate-smart business models and facilitate up to 1.4 million USD in climate-financing to small and medium enterprises.
- HRNS will provide targeted business development services to diversify income and service offerings for 6 inclusive coffee farmer organizations and support the incubation of new “ready-to-invest” business models with 75 Climate Pioneers.
- Interforest will establish a network of 50 SGBs in the agro-forestry sector in Izabal, to generate market linkages and improved access to working capital, especially for businesses run by indigenous Q’eqchi and Ladino communities.
- Pro Mujer will facilitate entrepreneurial acceleration services, including digital skilling and financial inclusion, and regenerative agriculture technical assistance for income diversification to 160 women in eight cooperatives in Chimaltenango and Chiquimula.
- Friendship Bridge will deploy its leadership and business training program to 300 women, facilitate business acceleration services and seed capital to 40 SGBs, and ensure access to capital to 600 women Friendship Bridge’s credit portfolio.