Our enterprise initiatives begin with a woman named Angela Alaniz, her son, Becker, and her nephew, Angel. It was mid 2021 and the community of Los Robles, Nicaragua was still feeling the aftermath of the 2018 socio-economic crisis. Unemployment was at a record high and COVID-19 was ever present. Angela spoke to Director of Community Development, Yarisleidy Cortez, about potential business opportunities and microloan financing. It had been 15 years since Comunidad Connect ran a microenterprise development project (then called “Savings Start”). Yet something intrigued Yarisleidy about what Angela had to say.
Angel and Becker proposed building a henhouse and selling eggs and chickens to their neighbors, while Angela proposed a baking business to sell bread, pizza, and other assorted treats with her sister, Gema. Their ideas were not new, but they were sound. More than anything, it was their collective conviction that impressed Yarisleidy the most. After hearing all the details, Yarisleidy agreed. See the videos below to hear from Angela, Becker, and Angel themselves.
Within a couple of weeks, two more proposals were accepted for the entrepreneurship pilot program. Jamie Ramos would establish a variety store for farming families, and Fatima and Dabeyda Hernández would expand their sewing business. Here are their interviews:
*Savings Start was one of our first programs in Nicaragua, based in the town of San Juan del Sur. Comunidad Connect worked with the real estate community of SJdS to raise funds for awareness about the small entrepreneurs of this bustling coastal town. Participants saved on a monthly basis, and once they reached their goal, we matched it 1:1 as a grant invested in their business. Many of those pictured here still have thriving businesses to this day.