In 2022, Bpeace joined hands with Corporación Multi Inversiones (CMI) to launch the Pradera Impulsa program in Guatemala, empowering entrepreneurs to create sustainable jobs and transform the communities where they operate. This first collaboration with a local
CMI is a family-owned multinational company that currently operates in 15 countries. With origins in Central America, CMI has been increasing investment, generating job opportunities and promoting economic development across the region since 1920. The company strives to create sustainable impact in the communities where it operates, while offering high-quality products and services through its Food and Capital business groups.
Bpeace’s first collaboration with a local private partner in Central America, the Pradera Impulsa program focuses on supporting the growth of 15 small and medium-size retail partners in CMI’s Pradera shopping mall network. Through this initiative, CMI is partnering with Bpeace and reaffirming its commitment to investing in and developing the communities where Pradera shopping malls are located, and strengthening the local economies.
Unleashing Potential with Pradera Impulsa
Pradera Impulsa is more than just a program; it’s a transformational business journey for the 15 entrepreneurs (Fast Runners) in CMI’s Pradera shopping malls who employ close to 800 Guatemalans and contribute over US$22 million to the Guatemalan economy.
The strategic partnership with CMI, a shared value powerhouse, focused on three key areas:
- Accelerating Fast Runners’ growth by boosting sales, creating new revenue models, enhancing productivity, acquiring new facilities and equipment, and making financial improvements, including cash flows and credit conditions
- Fostering commitment and initiatives among Fast Runners to create a positive impact on society and the environment
- Supporting Fast Runners in discovering their true purpose
Fifteen Fast Runners from various retail sectors, including beauty, cosmetics, clothing, coffee shops, sweets, beverages and bookshops, participated in the Pradera Impulsa program. Both Bpeace and CMI have a strong focus on women, with 65% of Pradera businesses women-led, and women comprising 80% of their employees.
Tailored Support for Fast Runners
The Pradera Impulsa program provided the 15 Fast Runners with access to Bpeace’s network of experienced business professionals (Skillanthropists) who acted as advisors. These business volunteers worked alongside the Fast Runners to overcome challenges, refine strategies and strengthen operations.
For 12 months, Fast Runners had access to online workshops and specialized advisory from top international experts to improve their business practices and services. Their top challenges revolved around branding and marketing, operational processes and technology, business strategy, organizational structure, HR, and financial strategy.
“This program offers something every business wants: an external expert who understands our challenges and helps us see things from a different perspective. It’s enriching to work with someone who knows our industry and the specific areas we need to improve. I would recommend it to any company because it allowed me to feel understood and supported.” Fast Runner Andrea Rodriguez, Finance Manager at Jireh
Financial support is also vital for growth. CMI provided a unique opportunity for Pradera Impulsa Fast Runners to access loans through COFINSA. These loans are carefully designed to align closely with the specific needs of borrowers, offering a more customized financial solution compared with traditional loans available at standard banks. Loans like this offered businesses the opportunity to expand, create more jobs and strengthen their financial foundations.
Creating a Ripple of Sustainable Impact
The CMI-Bpeace partnership is built on sustainability. By empowering Fast Runners to flourish, Pradera Impulsa nurtures stability and resilience in communities that have long faced hardship. These Fast Runners inject life into local economies, provide livelihoods and inspire others to follow suit, creating a ripple effect of lasting prosperity that transforms regions.
Measuring Success Through Tangible Change
The program isn’t just about good intentions; it’s about tangible change. Rigorous monitoring and evaluation track the progress and impact of these Fast Runners who are making a real difference in the lives of Guatemalans and their communities. The first cohort of Pradera Impulsa businesses successfully concluded in August 2023. Bpeace will stay in touch with these 15 Fast Runners over the next few months to monitor the implementation of their action plans and assess the program’s impact on their revenue, profits and job creation.
The partnership with CMI is a testament to what can be achieved when organizations unite for a common purpose. By nurturing local entrepreneurs and providing them with the tools, expertise and financial support they need to thrive, Pradera Impulsa is transforming not only businesses but lives. In a world where inequalities persist and instability looms, Pradera Impulsa offers a roadmap for sustainable, inclusive growth. Together, we invest in the dreams and potential of local entrepreneurs, lighting the path toward a brighter future, hand in hand.