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The MIF Approves US$1.2m Project with Alta-El Dorado Emprendimien to Stimulate Peru’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

30 September 2015

(Press Release) The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group , has recently approved a US$1.25 million technical cooperation grant for a project with Alta-El Dorado Emprendimiento, a Peruvian firm created by a strategic partnership between Alta Group Americas and El Dorado Investments, in partnership with COFIDE (la Corporación Financiera de Desarrollo del Perú).

The project will seek to contribute to competitiveness, growth, and job creation in Peru by promoting international good practices to stimulate activity in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The project will directly benefit 105 funders of 35 new technology-based companies, initially in Lima and Arequipa, who will receive training, mentoring, advising, and access to finance to develop and grow firms able to create quality jobs.

Although Peru has enjoyed strong economic growth over the last decade, it has not been accompanied by a similar rate of development in innovation, technology, and high-impact entrepreneurship, all of which are key factors in raising the country’s competitiveness. This challenge is linked to the incipient nature of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, which, despite fledgling public and private efforts, still suffers from considerable shortcomings. These include the lack of a culture of risk-taking, an intrinsic part of innovation and creation of high-impact ventures; access to angel, seed, and venture capital investors; access to networks of mentors guiding entrepreneurs through the process of developing and growing their companies; access to successful entrepreneurs who can offer investors a deal flow of potential investments; and linkages between the various agents in the ecosystem.

The MIF will support Alta-El Dorado Emprendimiento in implementing a program that takes a holistic approach to six components that represent best practices and lessons learned from Alta Group Americas’ prior experience helping develop similar ecosystems in the United States and Mexico: (i) Meet-Ups: in which entrepreneurs and key ecosystem stakeholders periodically meet to connect, learn from, and inspire one another; (ii) E100: a crowdsourcing system to identify entrepreneurs with the most potential to develop high-growth companies; (iii) Business plan competitions: for university students, in partnership with local universities; (iv) Mentor networks, offering strategic and operational guidance depending on their strengths, and helping connect entrepreneurs with their first customers or potential investors; (v) Venture capital conferences to educate, connect, and catalyze the emerging entrepreneurial ecosystem; and (vi) support for the launch of a Seed Capital Fund, managed by Alta-El Dorado Emprendimiento.

The project will help position the country as an economy focused on innovation by promoting industries and firms based on new technologies and information. A long-term project impact is also expected in this area, given that as the Government of Peru gains the experience and know-how to build and strengthen an entrepreneurial ecosystem it will exert its influence to design policies fostering the creation and growth of high-impact firms.