201610 SDC program overview
Since 2014, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Ashoka, Hystra and New Ventures have joined forces to identify, promote and support  social entrepreneurs in Latin America over a four-year period (2014-2018). Social entrepreneurship is still not mainstream in the general economy, but it is a growing field and yields high potential for addressing developmental problems in a more innovative and sustainable way. Yet, the field is lacking appropriate infrastructure and the enabling support ecosystems to develop to its full potential.

This is why this five-pillar program aims at supporting the selected social entrepreneurs with the following specific objectives:

  • To address the challenges social entrepreneurs may face along their lifecycle,
  • To consolidate the findings and spread the knowledge gained from this program, and
  • To ultimately aim for Pro Poor Growth.



2014 - 2016


201610 SDC Impact numbers infographic


Logos partenaires SDC Latin America_CH


Related TopicsSocial Entrepreneurship


Pillar I Study: Smallholder farmers' role as active agents of change

The study, prepared with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and CooperationDanone Ecosystem FundresponsAbility Investments AG and C&A Foundation, emphasizes smallholder farmers’ role as active partners rather than aid recipients.

Pillar II : Support to early-stage social entrepreneurs

The second Pillar of this program aims at building a solid pipeline of social entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean, with a special focus on SDC priority countries, starting with 20 new Ashoka Fellows.



Pillar III : How do we facilitate access to finance and other resources for social entrepreneurs?

In order to facilitate access to finance and other resources, 10 outstanding entrepreneurs are selected every year to participate in an acceleration program - I3 Latam.  The specific objectives are two-fold:

Pillar IV: How do we foster Economic Inclusion in Latin America ?

Since 2014, Ashoka has partnered with the Swiss Agency for  Development and Cooperation (SDC) to empower social entrepreneurs – Ashoka Fellows with globally scalable innovations for poverty alleviation - to grow their impact and replicate their model in Latin America, through two Globalizer Summits in Bogota and Buenos Aires.

Pillar V: Knowledge and capacity building

The fifth Pillar of this program aims at disseminating knowledge about social entrepreneurship within SDC, among its partners and more broadly with other stakeholders (companies, impact investors, etc.) through events and exchanges in Switzerland and Latin America. 

Sasha Kramer : a social business model for eco-friendly sanitation and farm practices in Haïti

Sasha Kramer – 2006 Ashoka Fellow and founder of  SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods) – is working to promote dignity, health, and sustainable livelihoods through the use of ecological sanitation in Haïti.

Discover Conor Bohan, transforming the university system in Haiti

Meet Conor Bohan, founder of HELP (Haitian Education & Leadership Program), Ashoka Fellow elected in Haiti in 2014, and part of the cohort of the SDC-Hystra program to support social entrepreneurship in Latin America. 

Alejandro Marius: a social enterprise to transform the work culture concept in Venezuela

Alejandro Marius – founder of Trabajo y Persona – is transforming the concept of the workplace as a painful necessity into a place of enjoyment and fulfillment in Venezuela.

Emily Stone: a social business model for indigenous Maya farmers in Belize and Guatemala

Emily Stone –founder of Maya Mountain Cacao (MMC) – is connecting the small indigenous Maya farmers in Belize and Guatemala with the ultra-premium chocolate industry.

Sebastian Salinas: a social business to foster entrepreneurship in disadvantaged communities of Chile

Sebastian Salinas – founder of Balloon – is fostering and developing entrepreneurship in the remote and disadvantaged Chilean communities through the transfer of knowledge, methodologies and tools vehiculated by volunteers.

Peter Bloom: a social business to provide better telecommunication services in Mexico

Peter Bloom – founder of Rhizomatica - is setting up mobile phone networks in rural areas of Mexico, to provide communities with cheaper and better quality telecommunication services than mainstream operators.

Juan Pablo Larenas: a social enterprise to promote public and private cooperation in Chile

Juan Pablo Larenas – founder of Sistema B - is taking the American B Corporation label to Latin America, in order to promote collaboration between businesses, government and civil society towards social innovation in Chile.

Carlos Atencio: a social enterprise to strengthen the healthcare system in Venezuela

Carlos Atencio – founder of Fundación Medicina Familiar – is responding to the failing healthcare system in Venezuela by introducing a new model of care, based on family practice medicine, and centered on community responsibility and participation.

Carola Capra : integrating small business owners into the formal marketplace

Carola Capra - founder of Red Nueva Empresa is a network of small business owners in Bolivia and Peru, which supports small and medium enterprises by connecting them to scholarships and management training.

JOSE MANUEL MOLLER: for an access to quality and environmentally friendly staple groceries in Chile

Jose Manuel Moller - Founder of Algramo - is providing families from the most vulnerable neighborhoods in Chile access to quality, more environmentally friendly, staple groceries at a
low cost and just steps from their homes.

JP Morgan Mentoring Program: “Experiencing Social Entrepreneurship”

It is no secret that Ashoka believes in the transformative power of an innovative idea in the hands of an entrepreneur. Changing systems for the better requires collaboration between different stakeholders to establish new ways of interacting and learning from one another. "Experiencing Social Entrepreneurship", is a partnership for change that matches J. P. Morgan mentors with Ashoka Social Entrepreneurs.

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