February 10

Press Release: Acceso, Formerly CGEP, Announces Its Transition Into a New, Independent Entity to Advance Its Work of Lifting Small Producers out of Poverty Through Market-Driven Social Enterprise

Since its founding in 2007 as an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, Acceso, formerly known as the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (CGEP), has worked across the world to build social businesses, train youth and women, and oversee a variety of health and economic development programs, bringing entrepreneurial solutions to global poverty. Their social businesses have helped lift thousands of farmers, fishers, and women entrepreneurs, and their families, out of poverty, while generating revenue that makes their impact sustainable.

Acceso’s current focus remains building, managing, and scaling agribusinesses in Latin America and the Caribbean to sustainably lift farmers and fishers out of poverty, and identifying opportunities for future replication. Their portfolio comprises four agribusinesses: Acceso Colombia, Alimentos, Acceso El Salvador, and Acceso Haiti. Some of Acceso’s key partners include Acumen and Grupo Éxito in Colombia, Super Selectos and Subway in El Salvador, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, CORE, and Partners in Health in Haiti.

Frank Giustra, the philanthropist and financier who co-founded Acceso with President Clinton and who has been the primary benefactor of Acceso since its inception, recently announced that he will be focusing the majority of his time on his philanthropic efforts and stepping back from his business interests. Given this, Acceso (“access” in Spanish) is being established as an independent entity. This is an exciting next step and a natural evolution for the organization.

“It has been a privilege to partner with President Clinton and the Clinton Foundation during the past 15 years, building programs that have demonstrably improved people’s lives around the world. His leadership, his friendship, and his commitment to improving the world have served as an inspiration. I have made the decision to focus on my philanthropic efforts going forward, and step back from my business interests. As such, I will take on full management of Acceso’s work in Latin America and the Caribbean and continue to drive forward the innovative ways we are working to lift producers out of poverty. I am proud of the impact we have had for over a decade, moved by President Clinton’s leadership, and excited to expand this work in the coming years,” noted Frank Giustra.

“I’m proud to have worked closely with Frank Giustra through CGEP to launch programs that have had a profound impact on the lives of people across three continents—connecting farmers and fishers to new markets, training women entrepreneurs, supporting life-changing health initiatives, and more. Throughout our long friendship and partnership, I’ve had the opportunity to see the passion, leadership, and vision of Frank’s philanthropic work up close. Now that he has chosen to devote himself to these endeavors full-time, I believe CGEP’s programs will empower even more people and improve more lives in the years to come. I’m grateful for the support CGEP has received from others since we began our work in 2007, especially from Fundacion Carlos Slim. And I look forward to the good work ahead under Frank’s guidance,” shared President Clinton in a statement.

Among Acceso’s numerous accomplishments during the past 12 years:

  • Their current portfolio of agribusinesses has improved the lives of more than 15,000 farmers and farm workers, generating more than $42 million in farmer revenues to date, a number that continues to grow by more than $10 million annually as the businesses grow.
  • These agribusinesses have also facilitated the distribution of inputs, including seeds and fertilizers, valued at more than $2.4 million and planted more than 1.4 million seedlings to promote reforestation.
  • Through smallholder farmer crops purchased from Acceso’s agribusiness in Colombia and thanks to a generous donation from Frank Giustra, Acceso has supported the feeding of more than 4.3 million meals to 250,000 Venezuelan refugees in Colombia through local partners. Acceso’s agribusiness in Haiti also supports the feeding of nutritious snacks and meals to more than 3,500 Haitian children daily.
  • In addition to its current portfolio, Acceso also built other agriculture, distribution, and training businesses that have since been spun off to partners or local management teams, including an inclusive distribution business in Colombia providing entrepreneurship and sales opportunities to low-income women and a coconut sugar business in Indonesia which trained and secured organic certification for more than 1,000 coconut sugar producers and constructed state-of-the-art processing facilities to connect them to international export markets.
  • Acceso’s last-mile distribution businesses trained more than 3,000 women on entrepreneurship, sales, and leadership, helping them generate $3.5 million in income for themselves, while bringing essential products to rural communities.
  • Through an agreement with the Peruvian Ministry of Health initiated in 2009, Acceso underwrote and coordinated the efforts of local medical partners to screen patients and perform over 50,000 cataract surgeries that restored vision (and productivity) to low-income citizens in rural Peru.
  • Acceso’s vocational training business in Colombia trained and prepared more than 4,000 youth for employment in high growth industries such as hospitality and logistics, through job skills training and apprenticeship placement programs.
  • With an innovative solution to bring small producers into formal supply chain and distribution networks, over the past few years, Acceso was engaged by leading companies including Pepsi, Unilever, Marriott, Walmart, and Club Med to conduct various feasibility studies and design pilot programs in multiple countries to expand sustainable sourcing or last-mile distribution opportunities for these corporate partners.

Photo courtesy of miuenski miuenski.

Source: Press Release

global development, philanthropy, poverty alleviation