1-Travelers' Savings Fund for Development - Increasing social, economic, and environmental investment.

1-Travelers' Savings Fund for Development - Increasing social, economic, and environmental investment.

Bolivia
Organization type: 
government
Budget: 
$1 million - $5 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

International Volunteering or Volunteer Travel is on the increase and it has been branded as "Do it Yourself - Foreign Aid". Using android phone technology, mapping voluntourism activities would increase participation and identify success, gaps, and opportunities to increase social, economic, and environmental investment. The four major components are Savings/Investment, Mapping, Linking, and Measuring.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

One major challenge facing countries is adequately measuring the socio-economic impact of tourism, for this represents a significant paradigm shift in the measurement of the impact of travel & tourism, yet voluntourism serves as possibly the best opportunity to do so. Many destinations are hosting voluntourists without much knowledge of the direct and indirect socio-economic impacts that they have on destination. How much economic activity is generated by these voluntourists? How much local tourism development is occurring in a community through homestays, lodge construction, or other accommodations? How many locals are hired to serve as guides, program coordinators, construction oversight, etc, in order to facilitate the efforts of inbound voluntourists, for example? How many schools, clinics, and infrastructure projects are initiated without the knowledge of governments? Without adequate means of measuring the socio-economic impact of voluntourism, local communities are missing the opportunity to leverage an important and growing segment of economic activity within their own borders.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Tourism and volunteer travel is estimated at billions of dollar annually. The Travelers’ Savings Fund for Development (TSFD) would help travelers pool their savings for future travel which would generate substantial new revenues. Travelers would have the opportunity to redirect a portion of their savings to support SMEs at destination. Reducing leakages associated with tourism is a major concern for host countries. The proposed initiative looks at mapping development projects lead by volunteer sending organizations so that travelers could support projects at destinations. While tourism has always been a major source of revenues for all countries in Latin America, linking innovative financing, technology, and development will increase community projects supported by travelers. Access to technology will help support small operators in the design, support, and evaluation of development projects in their community. Volunteer tourism is on the increase and is now a cross-cutting activity touching all form of tourism. The growing amount of volunteer activities ranging from health care to housing or education brings substantial new revenues beyond the cost of travel. While the numbers are on the increase, host countries do not have any data on the numbers of volunteers or exactly what they do and how to scale it up. This unique partnership between Voluntourism.org, Gallatin Systems, Connexion Internationale, and the government of Bolivia offers a holistic approach to the development of tourism destinations in rural areas as well as increase travelers’ participation. Starting with Bolivia, this innovative project would first identify voluntourism and international volunteering activities by goals. Mapping activities would help host countries better identify gaps and opportunities. The information gathered would help volunteer sending organizations plan projects and reach travelers interested to support specific projects.
About You
Organization:
Autonomous University Gabriel René Moreno - UAGRM
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Section 1: About You
First Name

Roberto

Last Name

Telleria

Organization

Higher Degree School - Faculty of Economic, Administrative and Financial Sciences

Country

, SCZ

Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

Autonomous University Gabriel René Moreno - UAGRM

Organization Phone

+591 - 3-336-6814

Organization Address

General Saavedra St. No. 137 (between La Paz and Chuquisaca)

Organization Country

, SCZ

Your idea
Country your work focuses on

, SCZ

Website URL
Would you like to participate in the MIF Opportunity 2010?

Yes

Innovation
Do you have a patent for this idea?

Yes

Impact
What impact have you had on your clients and the tourism sector?

Over the past 20 years, David Clemmons of Voluntourism.org have been providing expertise to organizations interested to launch volunteer tourism activities. Private businesses like the Ritz Carleton and government officials have called on David to help structure policies that would ensure success of projects.

Research, education, and technical help provided have resulted in changing the landscape in traditional volunteer travel. The development of the website and blog has generated 100s of thousands of visits to the website, stimulated change, and generated better practices.

Once seen has an activities for backpackers or faith-based organizations, voluntourism has grown to play a major part of ecotourism, adventure, and responsible tourism. At the same time, “hands on” and authentic travel experiences are becoming more prevalent as our society moves away from simply donating to a local cause, towards wanting to become more involved and participate philanthropically or by providing services to others combined with their travel. Such life-enhancing, or transformational experiences provided to program participants create a strong interest in giving time and/or money to benefit the communities and the quality of life of those they visit.

The work of David Clemmons has influenced policy development in many countries. The analysis of existing new research in the context of application of such studies informs service providers on the complexity of tourism, volunteer travel, and the social, economic, and environmental needs.

This proposed initiative bridges and leverages the activities of travelers to complement the work of millions of international volunteers that generates billions of new dollars for the destinations they visit.

Actions

Volunteer travel has created new opportunities for developing countries and communities in all countries around the world. The recent financial crisis has seriously impacted the revenues of many operators and jeopardized their ability to remain financially sustainable.

Predictability can help reduce cost and risk associated with lending. The collaborative efforts of leaders in banking, technology, GIS mapping, and tourism management clearly provides a new trends in mitigating the impact of tourism.

New tools and mechanisms increases the ability to reach the 944 million travelers that circulate the global every year. Long-term sustainability is the foundation of innovative financing mechanism and should not draw from existing disposable income. The proposed initiative will investigate the creation of Travelers Savings Fund for Development (TSFD) which objectives will be to leverage tourism savings and civic participation in support of MDGs through innovative financing. Once pooled, the individual financial and human efforts by voluntourist/travelers have the potential to create revenues that can be directed towards the economic and social development of communities.

Results

The most important outcome of this project would be the development of a strategic, replicable model that allows destinations to fully leverage voluntourism-generated resources. This includes, but is not limited to, the following resources: skilled and low-killed inbound volunteer services; corresponding local and community-generated volunteer services; financial resource contributions – both from voluntourists and local communities – to fulfill specific project requirements, i.e. school construction; job creation and direct & indirect economic stimulus at the local level, i.e. purchase of supplies, tools, etc, to complete a project, or accommodations, food preparation, etc; tourism infrastructure investment & development utilized in the hosting of voluntourists, i.e. homestays; leveraging tourism spending, specifically, but also overall spending by voluntourists; to minimize leakages; and to engage NGOs and nonprofits in fully realizing and measuring the socio-economic impact of their activities.

This strategic, replicable model will be the blueprint for other destinations to measure the full socio-economic impact of the fastest growing travel trend in the world.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

Partnership and collaboration will be “key” to increased success for this specific project. Over the next three years, the activities will take place within a strategic and participatory process for all stakeholders.

During the first year, the team will focus on identifying the voluntourism and international volunteers sending organizations (including NGOs) that are operating in Bolivia. Using database and mapping technology, the information entered will provide valuable data on the type of organizations operating in Bolivia and what type of investment they bring (skills, capacity building, financial). The information, once mapped, would help better understand the potential linkages between tourism activities and volunteer projects.

Meetings and discussions with service providers, community leaders as well as with traveler would offer a perspective on success factors, problems, and sustainability factors. The workshops and information sessions would provide information on;

- Opportunities to inform travelers about volunteer projects using existing android push technologies
- Factors of success for the development and sustainability of projects
- Interest of travelers to support (financially and/or physically) development projects

In the course of the second year, selected SMEs and community development projects would be presented to travelers to help evaluate the financial channels. The work of Carsey Institute for the creation of the TSFD would be used to bring on board institutional investors. Financial, technology, and social channels would be leverage to increase participation and reach traditional tourism sectors.

In the third year, the platform would be fully functional and the strength of the support from the responsible, volunteer, and sustainable tourism community would start to generate new revenues to support development. The data collected over a two year period would help countries of destinations put in place strategic policies and plans that would increase opportunities for development. Host countries would be able to forecast future tourism arrivals therefore reducing their cost of borrowing on future revenues.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

Voluntourism is already a successful activity in Bolivia and many of the surrounding countries. The lack of information on what is being done in voluntourism and its impact remains a major hurdle for host countries to leverage those activities. Access to information and participation from all potential stakeholders remains a major component for the complete success of this project.

Access to funding is also crucial to the success of the project because of the important part that the implementation phase plays in demonstrating the full potential of the four major components once they are well developed. The majority of the components are already in place but they have not been leverage to effectively serve the tourism industry and the sustainable development of communities in countries of destinations.

The goal of the project is to use existing and new technologies to collect information and link this information to future tourism and the development activities. The engagement of the local and national government is crucial so that tourism agencies remain completely involved in accessing the information and informing other sectors that depends on tourism revenues for growth.

If stakeholders do not see benefits within a short to medium period, their ongoing participation might be jeopardized. Transparency or a sense of lack of transparency could also impact on participation and negatively mitigate opportunities for increase collaboration.

How many people will your project serve annually?

More than 10,000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

$100 ‐ 1000

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy or introduce models and tools that benefit the tourism sector in general?

Yes

Sustainability
What stage is your project in?

Idea phase

In what country?

, SCZ

Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

Yes

If yes, provide organization name.

Autonomous University Gabriel René Moreno - UAGRM

How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?

Yes

Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

For tourism to become sustainable, it must link the needs of destinations with the passion of travelers. This could only be accomplished when a holistic approach includes travelers that have the financial capability to travel (savings), for travelers to have the ability to invest socially in the communities they visit (investment), opportunity for SMEs to access affordable financing, and ingenuity for technology to inform (evaluate). This innovative partnership between savings, finance, technology and sustainable development is crucial and at the foundation of this project. Partnerships with stakeholders and tourism operators will create linkages between communities and travelers.

The TSFD is truly a form of “innovative financing” and mechanism which leverages savings through cooperation and collaboration. Generating affordable funding and new revenues for social and environmental infrastructure will ensure those sustainable channels are leveraged.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

While voluntourism/international volunteering activities are already taken place, the success for growth and measurable impact will be ensured through initial seed funding, opportunity to collect/evaluate data, and to map activities. The initial seed funding period allows for the team to bring together more stakeholders to the table. A recent research on NGO tourism conducted by Kathleen Kennedy concluded that tourism-oriented NGOs, which have grown substantially since 2000, are in the unique position of being able to take advantage of the recent trends of globalization (technology), travel, philanthropy, and corporate social responsibility. As tools for poverty reduction, they have raised substantial funds and should be considered an alternative form of aid to developing and business development to countries, particularly Central and South America.

Using existing mapping technology provides some information on existing initiatives but it doesn’t have the ability to compare against social, environmental, and economic data. Linking android technology with GIS Mapping technology would allow pushing up-to-date information to travelers through existing social media platform. Impact assessment and outcome mapping is also time consuming. For tourism operators, NGOs, and community leaders having access to a shared platforms is not common. Previous research has demonstrated that for smaller and medium size operators it is extremely difficult to implement and sustain project . This second important step - leveraging the technology – is to inform host countries of existing/planned voluntourism (development) activities as well as identify gaps and opportunities.

For tourism operators, access to affordable or sustainable financing remains a major obstacle to reduce leakages and mitigate the impact of economic slowdown. Predictability for future incomes rest on a multitude of factors that are, most of the time in the current context, not easily manageable. The Travelers’ Savings Fund for Development plays an important role in pooling individuals’ savings for future travel. A portion of the savings, like peer-to-peer lending is then redirected to provide affordable financing for SMEs and microenterprise. Using tourism savings to support SMEs instill instruments of financial sustainability to the economic and social development of communities.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

This project and idea was developed over years of research, engagement, collaboration, which includes the input and critical views of several experts from various sectors of the economy.

The initial spark was at a fundraiser I had organized while working as a registered financial planner. While waiting for people to arrive I had a conversation with the photographer about a trip I wanted to take to Asia where tourism was still “real”. This is when he explained to me that as soon as I spend $1 at destinations, the roles of each person in the community have changed.

In 1998, I submitted a policy paper to a United Nations conference on financing for development. At that time several new ideas were being put forward and one of them was the “travel tax for UNITAID” which was eventually spearheaded by former President of France Jacques Chirac and former President of Brazil Lula DaSilva. While the tax on travel has shown to be successful it has disconnected and limited travelers from their passion to support the community they visit.

Seeing the impact of tourism on destinations became brought my attention to several major barriers to development such as the lack of financing, leakages and lack of linkages between the need of the communities and travelers.

An interview with David Clemmons of Voluntourism.org published in 2009 that was re-published in Travelmole brought to perspective the discourse between the potential of voluntourism and truly measuring its socio-economic impact in the wake of the Global Economic Meltdown. That more consumers were being drawn to voluntourism, particularly do-it-yourself (DIY) voluntourism was of interest because these individuals, very much like backpackers, were not being considered by those measuring the socio-economic impact of tourism.

It was at that time that we realized that the success of sustainable development (tourism) could only function if all stakeholders could work together in leveraging the four major elements – savings, investment, technology, and information.

While this project is showing as being in the "idea phase", the components for its success are in place and ready to be leveraged.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

This social innovation is built and developed on the knowledge and wisdom of several individuals who have over the years came to support and critic the idea so that the impact of tourism could be mitigated and leveraged for the benefits of communities and travelers.

Over the past 15 years, Luc Lapointe has worked on several local, national, and international initiatives. His work as a consultant began with a mandate to help reform the Canada Banking Act. His successful efforts to build a national coalition brought major changes to the financial sector in Canada, including the creation of the Financial Consumers Organization as well as new regulations to protect consumers and increase transparency.

Having had the opportunity to put forward successful national health strategies, build coalition for vaccine preventable impact research, access to education, succession planning in agriculture, policy framework for labour market and aging workforce; gives Luc a comprehensive outlook on creative solutions to complex issues.

An avid traveler, Luc began to network with thought leaders in the tourism industry to better understand the issues and potential solutions to reduce leakages and increase opportunity for development of communities in countries of destinations. His determination and drive to research, investigate and personally invest in this project demonstrate an ability to bring project and deliverables to fruitful completion.

David Clemmons is the founder of VolunTourism.org. As a pioneer in focusing on the intersection of voluntary service and travel & tourism, David has published hundreds of articles and blog posts on the subject for more than a decade. He has served the numerous voluntourism stakeholder groups through such publications as The VolunTourist Newsletter, The VolunTourist Weekly Review, and The VolunTourist Webcast. He has advised destinations, hoteliers, tour operators, NGOs, and educational institutions; he is recognized globally as a thought leader on voluntourism, and is regularly quoted in media publications worldwide.

Roberto Telleria, Bolivian, has fifteen years of professional and academic experience in areas of rural development; credit; international trade; policy analysis, and capacity building. Throughout these years has held professional posts in international and research institutions such as the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas - ICARDA (in Syria), the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations - FAO (in Italy) and the European Union (in Bolivia). Has worked with governments of Latin America (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Panama, Uruguay and Venezuela), Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Thailand and Syria) and Africa (Angola), and as free-lance consultant for USAID, ECLAC, GCIAR, DAI and others. Familiar with the UN system and agencies, NGOs and global issues and priorities.

Currently PhD Programs Coordinator at the Higher Degree School - Faculty of Economic and Financial Sciences (Autonomous University Gabriel René Moreno – UAGRM), where he coordinates economic and administrative-related PhD programs. He is also coordinator of a DFID-funded programme in Bolivia called Trade and Poverty in Latin America - COPLA (http://www.cop-la.net/es/node/45), and a think tank network named Territorial Economic Development Network for Latin America and the Caribbean -DETE-ALC (http://www.dete-alc.org/reddete-grupos-bol.html). He is economist from the National University of Córdoba (Argentina, 1995), Master of Science (2000) and Doctor in Philosophy (2007), both from the University of Reading (UK). Current applied research areas include agricultural trade and food security, credit and poverty and environment.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Through another organization or company

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company

Inter-American Development Bank

MIF Opportunity 2010
Has your organization been legally constituted or registered in your country or one of your target countries for at least three years?

Yes

Does the applicant organization have sufficient financial resources to guarantee the co-financing required by MIF during the execution period of the project? (This amounts to at least 50% of the project’s total budget with 25% in cash and 25% in-kind.)

Yes

Does the applicant organization have experience managing projects co-financed by international organizations? Please describe below

The Autonomous University Gabriel René Moreno – UAGRM based in Santa Cruz Bolivia has manages several projects from multilateral organizations such as the UN and other funders. Having access to administration staff, student and faculty expertise is a major asset in the management of projects involving a multitude of stakeholders.

A list of these projects is available on demand.

Please classify the applicant organization according to the options below

Training and Academic Institution

What problem-area does your project address?

Access to markets, Access to financing.

How will your project address this problem?

If the global financial crisis taught us one thing, it is that the world of investment and development must adapt to the concept of sustainability. Over the past six years, several new initiatives such as innovative financing have been put forward to help fill the gap between ODA and trade for developing countries.

SMEs in developing countries typically operate in a less supportive environment. Entrepreneurs often depend on friends and family (limited availability of capital) and money lenders (charging high interest rates) to get their business started. The opportunities to tap into formal financial services are much fewer than in developed economies. Regarding debt finance, SMEs are often too large for microfinance institutions and too small for commercial lenders in addition to lacking the collateral required by banks. For the large majority of local banks small business finance is regarded as an unattractive business as their perception is characterized by high risk and transaction costs. This perception results from a mismatch between banks’ requirements and the accounting and management practices common among SMEs, as well as a lack of suitable credit scoring mechanisms for small businesses. For sustainable SMEs the hurdles are even higher. Banks are particularly reluctant to support businesses in rural areas, where many sustainable SMEs are located, and in relatively new product sectors such as organic farming or renewable energy generation.

The lack of linkages between the need for capital and passion of travelers to invest in their destinations is a major barrier. Working with existing technology, travelers will have the opportunity to direct a portion of their savings towards investment in the countries/communities they visit. Andrew Penn’s research5 demonstrated that in the 39 respondent firms in the Fijis, community investment took various forms, which included direct outlays of funds, income forgone, services provided without charge, goods donated to host communities, and corporate volunteering. The annual value of voluntary support provided was estimated to exceed F$1.3 million (approximately US$790,000) in 2004.

For Latin America the income generated by tourism exceeds $38 billion. Another $8 billion of potential investment could be generated by reducing the cost of credit associated with vacations. The partnerships highlighted in this proposed project would help redirect savings for vacations to support SMEs at destinations. Savings for vacation is nothing new, in France Cheque Vacances manages close to 4 billion in Euros for future holidays. In the US and Canada, credit unions and banks offer a multitude of savings tools for vacations but none leverage the potential of the savings to support SMEs in destination.

NGOs featured in a recent study demonstrated that they maximize the quality of interaction of tourist with host community, leading to completion of a substantial number of improvement projects in hundreds of communities from both monetary donations as well as service to the communities. In addition, many communities have learned how to use tourism as a means, a tool if you will, for responsible development. The organizations offer both financial and non-financial strategies because they also change peoples’ lives through new facilities, educational opportunities, and access to information and decision-making, jobs and, in some cases, the ability to sell food, goods and handicraft items.

The Travelers’ Savings Fund for Development will bring ongoing sustainable financing to SMEs at destinations in markets considered high risk borrowers by traditional lenders. A Deutsche bank research shows that it currently represents 49% of the underserved lending market.

Collaboration with volunteer travel organizations, financial institutions in Latin America (ALIDE), technology tools such as GIS Mapping (Gallatin Systems and Connexion Internationale), and local communities is our established and proposed solutions to financing SMEs in Latin America.

Please note that the innovation part of this project is that it doesn’t necessarily create new tools but simply leverage existing technologies. All partners are already engaged in making this project a success. This unique collaboration is a sustainable solution to sustainable tourism.

Who is benefited by the initiative? (Please highlight the type and number of beneficiaries, and their role in the tourism value-chain.)

The number of specialized financial intermediaries providing finance and business development support to sustainable SMEs in the developing world is growing. More than half the funds examined in a report by the World Research Institute were established after 2004, with new funds continuing to be created around the world.

This growth is particularly evident in commercial investment firms establishing specialized “cleantech” or “Base of the Pyramid (BoP)” funds3 and mission-driven organizations experimenting with blended value structures. The growing interest and increase in sustainable SME investment activities are largely due to converging trends.

Sustainable SMEs capitalize on commercial opportunities while generating environmental and social benefits as part of their core business. They help protect the environment, alleviate poverty, and generally improve the quality of life, particularly for rural communities, where the majority of poor people live. Sustainable SMEs also offer innovative business models to shift to more sustainable economic development. The substantial benefits provided can be divided into economic, social and environmental categories:

Economic benefits: Monetary benefits like employment and wages, taxes paid, cost savings, and the overall enhancement of the economic environment. Social benefits: Improvements in the quality of life of SME clients and suppliers who gain access to previously unaffordable or inaccessible products and services. Environmental benefits: Reduced energy and resource consumption, land and species conservation, improved air and water quality, among others.

In many sectors—clean technology, renewable energy and energy efficiency, organic agriculture, certified forestry, ecotourism, and green construction—market opportunities have emerged based on business solutions to environmental challenges. Sustainable SMEs are flexible market participants with little sunk cost in a particular technology or sector, with, perhaps, the exception of organic or fair-trade certification. SMEs thus are often the first to take advantage of new opportunities and then to drive the market through technology or business model innovations. Often, environmentally sound products are particularly relevant for developing country conditions. For example biomass, solar, small hydro or wind energy can be well suited to provide electricity in rural and off-grid communities and in the process reduce the unhealthy and environmentally damaging use of firewood and charcoal.

In Bolivia, micro-tourism enterprises perform subsistence activities in condition of unfortunate management capacity and poor technology. Average monthly income are Bs 500 (€ 49,3) in the case of art crafters; from Bs 800 (€ 78,8) to Bs 1200 (€ 118,2) for fishermen, agricultural workers and street food sellers; and between Bs 5400 (€ 532) and Bs 12000 (€ 1182,3) for restaurants and hotels. Saving capacity is critical (except in the case of hotel owners), hampering the ability to capitalize their activity in terms of quality, size of supply, making tourism related labour force vulnerable to external markets shocks.

The lack of data on the need for access to funding or missed opportunities is not readily available but leakages in tourism for Latin America can be as high as 80%. Starting with Bolivia, this project will demonstrate the potential to increase investment in sustainable businesses in Latin America so that tourism savings can support the economic and social need of communities.

How will the project's results assist the region’s tourism sector and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises?

Access to finance is only part of the problem for tourism destinations and SMEs. In many developing countries the number of investment-ready small and medium enterprises is limited. Entrepreneurs often lack skills in business plan development, finance, accounting, market research, and management. In addition, support services are limited and expensive. As a result, fund managers must provide extensive support to get the enterprise investment. Technical assistance often is required at the outset, to draw up a business plan, to conduct feasibility and technical studies, and to cope with accounting, marketing strategies, and operational problem solving. Many SMEs do not have the correct incorporation documents for investment (especially for equity investments) and thus need help getting the legal documents in order. This not only takes time but can also be very expensive.

Most intermediaries focusing on sustainable enterprises need proof of positive environmental and social impacts both to fulfill their own mission and to attract capital from mission driven investors. Without concrete and timely data on the investments’ social and environmental impacts, the intermediaries’ case for investing in these enterprises is weakened. Nonetheless, monitoring and evaluating social and environmental metrics can be complex, costly, and time-intensive. This section discusses the rationale for monitoring and evaluation, the challenges of implementation, examples of current practice, and opportunities to move forward with a sector-wide approach.

The lack of social infra-structures is also a major deterrent to tourism growth. Developing countries lack financial and human resources to address gaps and inequality in access to education, health, water, and many other social factors that influence the sustainability of tourism. Increasing the numbers of volunteer travelers is not a solution unless these actions are quantified and developed in the context of development goals of the host country.

GIS mapping and the use of technology is rarely used to facilitate the work that evaluation requires and the need for technical assistance. Gallatin Systems and Connexion Internationale bring the required technology to use country statistical (social, environmental, economic) data for comparative and evaluation purposes.

This technology help connects the volunteer skills with the needs of the business and community. Capacity building being one of the greatest challenges outside of access to finance could only be mitigated by leveraging the expertise of volunteer travelers.

The region’s tourism sector and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises would benefit by having opportunity to reach new form of financing and capacity building at no cost. This proposed initiatives bridges needs with finance, technology, and human capacity.

A. Total Budget (100%)

US$1,000,000

B. MIF Contribution (up to 50% of total budget and US$. 500.000 max)

US$500,000

C. Cash co-financing (at least 25% of total budget)

US$250,000

D. In kind co-financing (at least 25% of total budget)

US$250,000

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