- Sembrando Horizontes counted with the participation of Anthony Gamboa and Susana Acuña, from the Environmental Economics and Sustainable Agribusiness Unit (UEAAS/EfD) for the selection of the 10 winners of the contest.
September 16, 2022. On Saturday, September 3, the Sembrando Horizontes (Sowing Horizons) contest, promoted by the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), was held at the Senderos events center located in Barrio Escalante, with the purpose of supporting micro and small entrepreneurs to help promote a more profitable marketing of their products or services.
This activity was aimed at entrepreneurs who are migrants, asylum seekers or refugees, and opened the space for those business ideas that are in a stage of development in which the seed capital will contribute to enhance their entry into the market.
Anthony Gamboa and Susana Acuña, from the Environmental Economics and Sustainable Agribusiness Unit (UEAAS/EfD), were part of the jury that helped choose the winning ventures.
Acuña said that this experience was very enriching for the CATIE team, because it allowed them to learn about the reality that many migrant entrepreneurs live in Costa Rica, a country that strives to improve the living conditions of these people.
This seed capital, as its name indicates, serves to give that push that is needed for the venture to begin to grow and mature, as if it were a plant, making these people future employers, increasing Costa Rica's labor force," explained Acuña.
Anthony Gamboa also mentioned that the evaluation criteria included aspects related to market opportunities, value proposition, previous experience, social benefits, innovation, profitability and entrepreneurial skills, which, according to Gamboa, are criteria that determine the growth opportunity of a business.
A total of 10 projects were selected, each receiving seed capital of USD 2000.
Andreina Rebeca Gámez was one of the winners. She is a native of Caracas, Venezuela and is in the process of applying for refugee status in Costa Rica.
Under the name Facilita Easy Food, Andreina works in her business venture in the elaboration of handmade pastries, as well as with a line of vacuum-packed frozen foods. Among the Venezuelan frozen products they offer arepas, tequeños, cakes, easy dough, prepared meats and bakery products.
Elymar Crespo Molina is another winning participant and is also from Venezuela, but from Barquisimeto. She is also in the process of applying for refuge in the country.
In her business called Mi Dulce Bendición (My Sweet Blessing), Crespo makes sweet and savory artisan pastries, with an emphasis on artistically decorated cakes.
"I was motivated to participate so that I could better myself and continue to grow in my venture," Crespo mentioned. "I would like to be able to reach other markets that I currently have not been able to reach due to lack of resources," he added.
The impact of economic benefit
The economic benefit that the winning ventures received will serve different purposes depending on the needs of each small business. According to Ivette Medina Barrantes, project director for PADF Costa Rica, PDAF expects that what was obtained in the contest, as well as in a training process previously carried out, will benefit the participants now and in the future.
With the prize money, Andreina Gámez will give priority to investing in machinery to increase production.
Elymar Crespo needs to buy a freezer to be able to store the cakes and also to acquire an industrial machine that will allow them to produce in larger quantities.
A competition of great importance
Regarding the relevance for the migrant population, whether in the process of seeking refuge or already a refugee, Andreina Gámez expressed that "these types of activities are important because as migrants we do not have the economic capacity to project our businesses directly".
"It is very important because as migrants it is difficult the process of coming here, to a totally unknown country, without resources, but with the conviction and the desire to move forward," said Elymar Crespo. "When I arrived four years ago I had nothing, only two molds and a cupcake mold," she said. cupcakes”, detalló.
Anthony Gamboa Ch.
Sustainable Agribusiness Technician
Environmental Economics and Sustainable Agribusiness Unit (UEAAS/EfD)