Rodrigo Villar

Ashoka Fellow
Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Fellow Since 2007


This profile was prepared when Rodrigo Villar was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
Rodrigo is using a traditional venture capital startup model to encourage positive environmental and social change in Mexico. Instead of focusing his energies on profits, he works to promote the sustained growth of green businesses. The market for such enterprises is small but expanding and through his work, Rodrigo hopes to improve consumers’ accessibility to information regarding environmentally-friendly merchandise.

In an effort to make his plan a reality, Rodrigo founded the Center for Sustainable Business, dedicated to helping small businesses that meet international sustainable development standards succeed. The organization has transformed into a hub that aids in the creation of new projects, offers consulting services, provides access to investment capital, and promotes new ways of accelerating existing sustainable companies.

Rodrigo has brought together an impressive group of partners to join him in his efforts to enhance sustainable development, including visionary investors, national and international citizen organizations (COs), transnational corporations, and the Mexican government. Though his idea is surprisingly simple, his ability to foster growth and create a new demand by raising awareness of environmental issues and informing the public of key institutions has enabled him to leave a lasting social impact and be successful in areas where previous efforts have failed.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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