US State Department awards additional funding for sustainable local organizations in Belize and Latin America


WASHINGTON, USA — The US Department of State has awarded the World Environment Center (WEC) and its partner, Le Groupe-conseil baastel ltée (Baastel), additional funding to grow innovative, sustainable local organizations in Belize and Latin America. The current program, known as La Red de Innovacion and Impacto (La Red), established in 2014, is a collection of 30 such innovative solutions from 11 nations across the region.

The La Red network conducts training and workshops to scale business solutions to sustainability challenges; assists enterprises to participate in internationally renowned acceleration programs; communicates best practices throughout the network; and monitors and evaluates progress. To date, more than 2,230 MSMEs in Latin America have benefited from the technical assistance funded through this project, and more than 1,800 individuals have been employed or promoted. Some 1,240 farmers have improved their operations as a result of the work conducted through La Red.

The expanded program, funded through January 2020 for $2.56 million, will enable WEC and Baastel to significantly increase the number of participating sustainable enterprises with the goal of accelerating innovation, job creation, social entrepreneurs, and market expansion opportunities across a number of business sectors, including agriculture, agro-industry and textiles.

“La Red is designed to engage a broader cross section of stakeholders to identify labor and environmental-related challenges or barriers to inclusive economic growth, solicit innovative solutions from the region, field test concepts or approaches, and provide tools to help achieve scale and meaningful impact through partnership and cooperation,” stated Dr Terry Yosie, WEC’s president and CEO.

Through the expansion of this program, several of the current La Red member organizations will be selected to work collaboratively with new participants, selected from a new regional Innovation Challenge throughout Belize, Central America and the Dominican Republic. Those two groups of La Red members will join efforts to provide trade capacity building to microenterprises beneficiaries to scale their businesses, maximizing partnerships and providing access to potential U.S. and other export markets.

WEC is an independent, global non-profit, non-advocacy organization that advances sustainable development through the business practices and operations of its member companies and in partnership with governments, multi-lateral organizations, non-governmental organizations, universities and other stakeholders.