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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

World Environment Center Launches “Power to Grow: The Innovation Challenge Fueled by La Red de Innovación e Impacto,” a U.S. Department of State Program to Support Micro-Enterprises in Central America.

Press Release – March 12, 2018 – The U.S. Department of State, World Environment Center (WEC), Le Groupe-conseil baastel Itée (Baastel), and RioSlum Studio are proud to announce the opening of applications for “Power to Grow: The Innovation Challenge Fueled by La Red de Innovación e Impacto” (Power to Grow). Power to Grow is a search to discover and reward organizations that are empowering micro-enterprises in Central America.

Up to 95% of companies in Central America are Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). The success of these companies and the prosperity of communities are inextricably linked. However, many struggle to grow and remain competitive in the global marketplace.

Power to Grow selects innovative candidates to join forces with La Red member organizations towards:

  • Accelerating innovation and job creation opportunities for Central American micro-enterprises in the agriculture, agro-industry, and textiles sectors;
  • Building capacity of micro-enterprises to expand to new regional and international markets, with a focus on the U.S. market; and,
  • Generating economic prosperity across Central America.

Awardees will each receive a comprehensive support package, up to $43,000 to promote their solution, and partnership with a current member organization of La Red de Innovación e Impacto. Working together, the awardee and La Red member will leverage shared experience and knowledge, benefit from cross-sector collaboration, and forge a coalition to empower micro-enterprises.

The following La Red members and projects have been selected from current La Red member organizations to partner with the new Innovation Challenge applicants:

  1. Cleaner Production Center of Nicaragua (CPmL-N): to bring prosperity for small farmers and agroindustrial microenterprises in Nicaragua through sustainable practices and strengthening for new markets.
  2. Lutheran World Relief (LWR): Mobile Cocoa: Regional Cocoa Flavor Map.
  3. Centro Nacional De Producción Más Limpia De Panamá (Cnp+L)/ ConeP: to increase productivity and efficiency and provide market access for dairy micro-producers within supply chains.
  4. Travolution: first Central American community-based tourism encounter.
  5. Vista Volcanes: training program on organic agriculture for the “4 pinos” cooperative suppliers.
  6. Wakami/Comunidades de la Tierra: to open opportunities for microenterprises in the Central America region through the export of textile products.

Micro-enterprises can power growth and prosperity across the region. Visit powertogrow.wec.org to learn more and apply.


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