Driving New Economic Opportunities
We work actively with international and civil society organizations, academic institutions and the private sector to create programs that support the development of a strong micro and small enterprise (MSE) sector in the local community.
MICROFINANCE FOR LOCAL ENTREPRENEURS
Fondo para el Desarrollo (FONDESA) is among the largest microfinance institutions in the Dominican Republic, and one of Fundación Tropicalia’s oldest partners. In 2008 Fundación Tropicalia asked that FONDESA establish a presence in Miches in order to diversify banking options, formalize the borrowing process and support inclusive business programs in Miches. To date, FONDESA has placed nearly RD$232 million in the form of microloans for local entrepreneurs, impacting the following sectors: agriculture, commerce, services, consumption, housing improvement, livestock, and manufacturing. In 2015 alone, FONDESA issued 914 new loans, totaling more than RD $46.75 million. These loans strengthened 1,181 jobs and benefited 1,049 families; including 39.4% of FONDESA’s loans going to women entrepreneurs.
In 2014, FONDESA and Fundación Tropicalia launched a new microfinance product especially designed for the farming community in an effort to support sustainable agricultural practices. To date this innovative financial product has injected nearly US$100,000 in the Miches community, resulting in the increased production of passionfruit and ginger.
Through the Agricultural Diversification and Food Security Program (2012), in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development and the Dominican Foundation for Rural Economic Development (USAID/REDDOM), Fundación Tropicalia supported local farming associations and brought 17,000 sq. ft. (1,580 mt2) of greenhouse infrastructure to life. Through this effort 45 farmers learned about sustainable agricultural production, 45 women received workshops in health and nutrition, and all benefitted from the production and sale of red bell peppers to local and regional markets. This project gave way to our “Inclusive Business and Sustainable Supply Chain Program” we currently execute with the IDB/MIF.
INCLUSIVE BUSINESS AND SUPPLY CHAINS
Fundación Tropicalia currently executes a project that supports the inclusion of micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in the sustainable tourism supply chain in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund (IDB/MIF). The goal of this initiative is to improve market access for local farmers and entrepreneurs by incorporating them into the tourism value chain generated by Tropicalia, its partners and other anchor companies in the region, which all require high-quality goods and services. To reach this goal Fundación Tropicalia cultivates and strengthens the supply chain via capacity building and access to financing and technical assistance.
The project activities are divided into five components:
1. Strengthen the administrative and commercial management of local producer organizations.
2. Improve the quality and diversification of agricultural produce.
3. Support entrepreneurial initiatives that service the tourism industry.
4. Increase access to financing for producers and entrepreneurs via a microcredit program.
5. Provide knowledge and strategic communication to promote inclusive business models in other tourist destinations.
To view our project status on the IDB website, click here.
In mid-2015, Fundación Tropicalia developed ¡Miches, sí! (or “Miches, Yes!”): a business program focused on strengthening local business and supporting new ventures that cater to tourism and agricultural sustainability.
By April 2016, Fundación Tropicalia developed a business plan program that was offered to 32 local entrepreneurs. The 24 participants who completed the program received a certificate of participation, and 20 of these entrepreneurs went on to present their business plans to an independent jury of business professionals and competed for seed funding to jumpstart their businesses.
To carry it out, Fundación Tropicalia partnered with ADOPEM NGO, a non-profit organization specialized in strengthening entrepreneurship and social and human development in the Dominican Republic. A total of four participants would be recognized for their business plans in two distinct categories: New Business Venture and Strengthening an Existing Business.
Fundación Tropicalia also partnered with ADOPEM Bank -a financial institution oriented towards serving micro, small and medium enterprises- to roll-out a low interest credit fund designed especially for ¡Miches, sí! participants. This fund provides loans on favorable terms to local businesses designated for tourism and agricultural innovation that are sustainable and environmentally responsible.
This month Fundación Tropicalia, under the scope of the USAID/REDDOM project, together with the Agricultural Producers Association Juan Pablo Duarte of the La Gina community, have taken the first steps toward constructing two 600 square metered greenhouses, destined to produce between one and two new vegetable and/or herb crops in the area.