AIDG wins grant from Aspen

This year AIDG began conducting business plan competitions as a way to identify promising entrepreneurs in Haiti and Guatemala. Through this new process, we found 3 excellent teams, Quetsol, Flowercin, and COOPEN. We’re thinking that the methodology is an idea worth standardizing and sharing with other non-profits in our sector whose mission depends on locating talented entrepreneurs. Luckily the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, of which we’re a founding member, thinks so too. They recently awarded AIDG a $72,800 grant from their Capacity Development fund to create essentially a business plan competition in a box. We’re using our tech skills to “create a business plan competition and enterprise incubator resource website and materials toolkit that can be used to easily and quickly run a business plan competition; advertise, accept applications, judge applications to standardized criteria, provide training and support resources to SMEs, and track and report the progress of competitions.” Knowledge sharing is a big part of how we operate. We’re happy that the work that we’re doing now to find new and exciting businesses can benefit the other NGOs in our sector.

Funding for the grants was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Lemelson Foundation and Shell Foundation.

From our grant app:

[AIDG] seeks to create a business plan competition and enterprise incubator resource website and materials toolkit that can be used to easily and quickly run a business plan competition; advertise, accept applications, judge applications to standardized criteria, provide training and support resources to SMEs, and track and report the progress of competitions.

AIDG is interested in leveraging what it and other ANDE members have learned in running business plan competitions and providing training curriculum around writing and pitching a business plan. We hope to create a standard website and toolkit that can be used by ANDE members and other qualified sector organizations to run their business plan competitions without having to invest significant resources in internally developing new platforms for each contest. The toolkit of materials, publicity and sites will be developed in French, Spanish and English to maximize potential regional applications.

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