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The 2009 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor stated that Guatemala was the sixth highest in the world and fourth in Latin America for the Rate of Early Entrepreneurship. Today you'll hear three entrepreneurs talk about their journeys into entrepreneurship and their current work in Guatemala.
Luis Aguilar is an Ashoka fellow and social entrepreneur who founded Bakabs. Bakabs is a network of small and medium tourism enterprises focusing on rural areas of Guatemala. Hotels, restaurants, transport and entertainment venues work together with artists and artisans creating economic, social and cultural development in the Guatemalan countryside.
Mark Jacobson worked in the hospitality industry and then became a business advisor and investor in several Central American firms. He has a BS from Cornell University. Four years ago, he co-founded Pomona Impact and now works to grow an impact investment 'ecosystem' that will provide financial and technical support to early stage impact businesses in Meso America.
Maria Rodriguez graduated from Istmo University, Guatemala City and in 2011 completed her Sustainable Rural Development Masters degree from Flacso Guatemala. In 2007 she founded ByoEarth, a social venture that promotes vermiculture in vulnerable areas of Latin America. She was an Unreasonable Fellow and in 2012 she completed the Agora Partnerships business accelerator. She currently works in partnership with Technoserve and Fundación Junkabal to promote vermiculture as a sustainable livelihood for women in extreme poverty.
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