What solution(s) does your initiative address to help emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses grow and thrive in underserved communities? (select all applicable)
Access to financing, Access to supply chains, Access to technology, Access to economic opportunity.
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
In a rural region in Honduras, in a two-year period, 140 new business startups were initiated, of which, 80% started without financial support, using already existing assets different to money. Also, local money flows were enhanced by 16%, towards more spending patterns within the communities engaged. Regarding remittances, in a rural region in Nicaragua, remittances spent through a local business network, received via mobile phone, generated a 10% multiplier effect in the local economy, improving access to financial services for the underserved and a 15% cost reduction regarding sending costs of remittances.Our proporsal makes a difference regarding its “assets based” approach, which generates higher sustainability and depends less on funds granted by external institutions.
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
In the next three years we hope that some organizations that have already been trained in this approach to local economic development (or are currently in that process) and received advisory from STRO - such as World Vision Honduras, FAO Honduras, the NGO CDH and the NGO REDES- are able to streamline the methodology in other regions and areas of their organizations (with or without STRO’s support). Moreover, we expect to expand the method towards new organizations (at least 10-20) in the region. Consequently, STRO will develop new training basic packages and offer tailor-made advisory services that will allow to reduce the costs of implementation of the model,(initial costs of advisory and supervision from STRO) while increasing its adaptability to local contexts and target groups.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
The innovative character of the methodology poses a challenge, given that project officers are merely facilitators of local community mobilization and “coachers” of entrepreneurs (in case they request it), not advisors or experts that provide solutions to local communities. This shift demands openness towards a behavioral change from the project officers and a break-down of assistentialist patterns from communities. To overcome this, STRO provides close advisory and includes additional methodological “reinforcement” sessions to the basic training program,adapted to specific conditions of the target group. Regarding remittances administration,some countries have intricate regulatory processes for approval of our procedures. To overcome this,we advance legal work before start of the project
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Supervised practice of the LED methodology and tracking of businesses entering a local network for remittances administration.
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Local staff certified in our LED approach, new local businesses, enhanced local money flows, appreciation of local assets