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  • Awarded: 2005
  • Issue Areas: Economic Opportunity · Post-Secondary Education · Youth Job Skills
  • Countries Served: Antarctica · Paraguay · Tanzania
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    About the Organization

    Fundación Paraguaya is a self-sustaining, not-for-profit social enterprise, which since its foundation in 1985 has spearheaded microfinance and entrepreneurship in Paraguay.

    With more than 300 staff in 28 offices across the country, Fundación Paraguaya develops and implements practical, innovative, and sustainable solutions to eliminate poverty, in order to create decent conditions for all families, through four inter-related strategies.

    The first is a microcredit program, which serves more than 78,000 small and emerging micro-entrepreneurs who are largely ignored by other microfinance institutions.

    Fundación Paraguaya also runs an entrepreneurial and financial education program for children and youth, as well as a set of financially self-sustaining farming high schools that train the sons and daughters of poor farmers to become “rural entrepreneurs”.

    TeachAManToFish, a separate NGO established in London, helps spread the Fundación’s self-sufficient school model around the world.

    In the last three years, Fundación Paraguaya has enabled 16,000 families to overcome poverty.

    /**Test By CR On 19th June**/

    Young people from poor farm families cannot benefit from education removed from their daily lives, without opportunities to apply their learning productively.

    FP piloted “education that pays for itself” in residential facilities offering first-class education and farm enterprise experience .

    Martin Burt applies learning from microfinance to other areas of development, such as education, health, and housing.

    The school model is being replicated by more than 50 organizations in 27 countries.

    Ambition for Change

    Education that includes entrepreneurship training, together with microfinance programs, strengthens employment opportunities and income and enables the poor to drive their own change.

    /**Test By CR On 19th June**/

    Path to Scale

    Growth, and Independent Replication through Partnership

    Since achieving self sufficiency at the first agricultural school, FP has launched additional schools. Teach a Man to Fish, FP’s UK-based sister organization, disseminates the self-sufficient school model through its membership network. FP entrepreneurship and microfinance programs have experienced regular growth and influenced national poverty elimination policies.

    /**Test By CR On 19th June**/

    /**Test By CR On 19th June**/ Martin Burt founded Fundación Paraguaya ('Paraguayan Foundation for Cooperation and Development' or 'FP') in 1985 after returning to Paraguay upon completion of his university studies in Spain and the United States. He is visiting professor in Social Entrepreneurship at the American University of Nigeria; Professor of Practice at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute; and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Tulane University. He is author of books on economics, development, education and poetry. He is recipient of numerous awards: Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship; Avina Foundation; Nestlé 2012 Shared Value Award; UNESCO; Global Development Network GDN; BBC World Challenge; Synergos and Eisenhower Fellowships. Formerly he was elected Mayor of Asunción and served as Vice Minister of Commerce and Chief of Staff to the President of Paraguay.

    Impact & Accomplishments

    FP is currently working with 90,000 clients each year, two-thirds through its microfinance program and one-third through youth entrepreneurship and education programs. The school model is being replicated by more than 50 organizations in 27 countries. Teach a Man to Fish has more than 4,500 members from 125 countries, whose work benefits 23 million people. FP’s microfinance program has evolved to a “Total Poverty Elimination” program, developing new tools such as the “Poverty Stoplight” assessment system. The Stoplight has been incorporated into Paraguay’s national policies, and launched via partnerships in 21 other countries. /**Test By CR On 19th June**/


    Jimena VallejosPoverty Stoplight Coordinator, Fundacion Paraguaya
    Luis SanabriaChief Operating Officer, Fundacion Paraguaya

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