Friday, 20 August 2021 02:20

FUSADES awarded to entrepreneurs with innovative projects

Written by Evelyn Alas

The Fundación Salvadoreña para el Desarrollo Económico y Social, (FUSADES), through its PROINNOVA program, celebrated the awards ceremony of the 19th edition of the Agroinnova contest. On this occasion, recognition was given to five entrepreneurial projects, which stood out for their business bet and innovative offer to the market. Each winner received a certificate that entitles them to receive specialized advice from PROINNOVA, valued at US$2,000 each.

The awards ceremony began with an exhibition by the participants. They showed their products in areas such as food, natural beverages, bakery, natural cosmetics, and food for export, among others. In addition, a pitch competition was held in which they demonstrated their skills to interact with customers and potential investors.

With this, the entrepreneurs will be able to launch a new product or improve the quality of the one they already have, industrialize their processes, reinvent their brand or modify their business model to be more competitive. The project to be implemented with each venture will respond to the needs identified in the first stages of the competition.

This year, following the public call for Agroinnova 2021, PROINNOVA selected 25 entrepreneurs whose proposals stood out for their viability and business potential. This group entered the intensive workshop phase. They were trained in problem solving, business ideas, value proposition, prototyping and minimum viable product, operations, processes and costs, marketing, sales strategies, financial projections, business model, among other areas.

"Agroinnova helped me see the cost structure, where the details are, where the opportunities for improvement are. Indirect expenses of the product, costs that are not seen because they are not identified", said Rodrigo Morales, about the trainings.

Throughout Agroinnova's history, 580 entrepreneurs have been trained and 120 winning projects have been implemented. This has meant an investment of US$500,000 in technical assistance.

Agroinnova is a program that seeks to incubate ventures and grow businesses through training, advice and support so that entrepreneurs can access work equipment and financing. In this edition 17 participants reached the final stage.

"It has helped me to know how far I have advanced and where I should go, through technology, industrialization of processes. Now I know where I can focus all my efforts to generate sales and monetize them", said entrepreneur Kricia Crespín.

Liaisons have also been made with financial entities to reach a total investment of US$1 million for the enterprises. The 19th edition of Agroinnova was organized by PROINNOVA and the Fundación para la Innovación Tecnológica Agropecuaria (FIAGRO), with financing from the USDA, through the Secretaría Técnica de Financiamiento Externo (SETEFE). Support was also provided by the Banco de América Central, through the Promoción a la Pequeña y Mediana Empresa (PROPEMI) program.