Entrepreneurship Program

Investing in small business builds the community as a whole.

We feel that the people of Guatemala have the power to lift themselves up.  We are also very firm believers that small business is the heart and soul of every community.  When we can empower Guatemalans to use entrepreneurial spirit to provide goods and services in their own communities, everyone benefits.

Sometimes, all it takes is a small initial investment… or an accounting class… or help establishing a business plan.  Hence, our entrepreneurship program!

What is the entrepreneurship program and how are the candidates chosen?

The entrepreneurship program falls under the category of economic development.  In our program, Project Manager Diego Xirum (our Guatemalan staff and community liaison) hand-selects candidates based on their character, education and/or work ethic and invites them to apply.  During the application process, Diego encourages them to choose to start or enhance a business that is pandemic-tolerant, one which provides a good or service that is considered “essential”.

A participant in the program can receive training on how to develop a business plan, create a budget, and reinvest profits.  We also provide marketing ideas, networking, and a certificate upon completion of our training program.  By the time you meet the entrepreneurs, they have already completed the first steps:  developing a business plan and creating a budget.  At the end of the program, we ask each participant to actively mentor a future entrepreneur, lending advice, support and a stronger business network in the community.

How are the entrepreneurs held accountable and how is their progress tracked?

Because part of the criteria for consideration includes an evaluation of their character and work ethic, the participants are already predisposed for honor and success.  A reputation follows them in their tight-knit community and future opportunities hinge upon remaining accountable.  Tracking progress is easy!  There is a checklist indicating each step of the plan, and successful completion comes with a certificate and stepping into a mentor role.

Does the beneficiary need the entire amount requested in order to get started?

In some cases, yes, but in most cases not.  Each hopeful entrepreneur created a budget showing how the funds would be used if financial support was provided.  Often, the budget contains more than one need or want.  If the budget can be divided in a manner which provides the entrepreneur to get started with partial support, it will be done.  Having multiple investors is a great way for us to share positive feedback with many!

Where can I find out about the progress of each candidate and especially the one I support with my donation?

Until the full amount is raised, you will see a progress meter for each participant showing the amount pledged to date on the meet the entrepreneurs page.  After the full amount is raised (or a partial amount if the budget is subdivided for multiple needs) then the subsequent phases of the program and training take place.  A donor will be notified after each step of the program is reached and a copy of the completion certificate will be shared with the donor(s).