Gabriel Rivera Rio Zambrano

Ashoka Fellow
Monterrey, Mexico, North America
Fellow Since 2016

Citation

This profile was prepared when Gabriel Rivera Rio Zambrano was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2016.
The New Idea
Gabriel provides integral support to micro entrepreneurs who are excluded from access to financial resources. This enables them to start and expand their businesses which contribute to the construction of a robust and independent microenterprise sector in Mexico. By offering fair and innovative financial products and support, Gabriel serves the needs of small business entrepreneurs, 76% of whom are women. He does this by providing access to equipment and machinery, business and technical training, and a network of other entrepreneurs, providers, and buyers that help clients scale their operations successfully.

Instead of merely offering credit and collecting payment, Gabriel´s model is involved in every step of the creation or expansion of a business: training, obtaining credit, marketing, and product sales. Traditionally, microfinance institutions do not give clients the necessary tools to start and grow their own businesses, making them dependent on limited providers and the sale of their products by third parties. Gabriel´s initiatives change the focus by creating strong alliances between providers, producers, and clients, increasing the value of their products and sales.

Gabriel´s web-based, easy to access platform coupled with a human-centered model enables micro entrepreneurs to gain access to affordable financing in several ways. These include discounted, high-quality machinery; a larger, reliable and higher quality supply chain; and wider markets. This enables them to create a sustainable lifestyle for themselves and their families. Business owners can expand their businesses in a sustainable way. They are able to improve their economic situation while learning hard skills and becoming empowered individuals at the same time. This can finally be done without the fear of debilitating over-indebtedness, most often caused by unmonitored, unrestricted traditional loans and extortionate interest rates.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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