Francisco Noguera

Friday Roundup – 10/29/10: Happy Birthday, Agora Partnerships

This week I had the pleasure to attend the celebration of Agora Partnerships’ fifth anniversary. Friends and supporters of this remarkable organization came together to reflect on the accomplishments of the past five years and share a vision for the future.

Agora has made major strides promoting enterprise solutions to poverty in Nicaragua, the second poorest country in Latin America. It facilitates access to capital, advice and connections for Nicaraguan entrepreneurs, engaging a growing community of support and promoting a healthy discussion about entrepreneurship and the role of business addressing the challenges of poverty in the country.

Their accomplishments go far beyond the individual success of the organization; Agora has played a fundamental role in building a coherent industry around market-based approaches to poverty, playing a central role in the formation of the Aspen network of Development Entrepreneurs and its footprint in Latin America. We at NextBillion are proud friends of Agora, and join founders Ben Powell and Ricardo Teran in celebrating this special milestone.

It’s organizations like Agora that are driving the rising interest for SME finance and enterprise soluutions to poverty. Next month, in Seoul Korea, the G-20 Summit will welcome th 14 winners of the Changemakers G-20 Challenge, which were recenly announced. I encourage you to look around and learn more about the models and activities of the winners, including industry leaders like Root Capital, Aavishkar and Grassroots Business Fund. Fore recent coverage on the topic of SME finance, the latest issue of Beyond Profit is also worth a close look.