Crear Calidad

Crear Calidad: High quality jobs, products, and services for locals, expats, and tourists.

Ometepe, NicaraguaAltagracia, Nicaragua
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

Prices are growing, salaries stay low. Market chances go unused by locals. We provide the missing element to find jobs, and realize high quality products and services. A market of trust, created by mobile-ready web services, personal contacts, micro-funding, and human success stories.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if an easily accessible network existed to connect consumers and local producers which benefits the immediate economic environment?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

More and more foreigners buy into the island Ometepe (~30,000 inhabitants and ~70% unemployment). Jobs are low paid and without much security. Expats and tourists augment prices and it becomes harder for locals to compete and thrive. Many locals lack the educational background to effectively participate in this fast growing market dynamic. Therefore, unemployment, unbalance, exploitation, and criminality grows.

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

A mobile-ready website shares the useful information between the players. Smart-phones are common among locals. Several information-based approaches are combined: a) Micro-funding: Locals are supported to work more sustainably and their stories are presented on the web to attract donors from abroad. b) Job opportunities: Locals can register with a smart-phone, a computer or by visiting the office based on the projects' needs and job openings. c) Products and services: Locals and projects can show what they have to sell, and as well find what they need. d) Supporting local communities: Tourism projects interested in supporting their neighborhood decide how much they want to contribute and receive reports and stories.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Juan has always worked as tenant farmer on a land that was sold to a foreigner. Juan has no job any more and his family has difficulties to buy rice and beans. He tried farming on his uncle's land, but the soil is too dry for rice. When Juan came to Crear Calidad, he was given agricultural advice. As part of his proposal to Crear Calidad, he took pictures of his family and the farming land using his brother's mobile. He received the seeds to grow 'Trigo', an alternative crop that needs less water than rice. Juan was doing good work, and the harvest was successful. Now, he uses all the land from his uncle. He was able to give back the Trigo seeds and he even bought his own mobile. The recent photos of his family look much more happy.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

More chances for locals to participate in the markets. More professional ways of helping from foreigner projects. More awareness about local jobs, products and services. More money coming in and circulating in the local economy. More pride for traditions and new ways of working. More organic agriculture and natural building. More quality aware tourist economy. More transparency and easier access to information. More balance between expats and locals. More use of local resources. More availability of high quality products and services. More connection and trust between locals and foreigners. Collaboration between previously disconnected players. More sustainable use of existing information technology. Quantitative goals for the first 6 month: > 10 families have realized a stable income. > 20 high quality offers are promoted online. > 4 community-support-contracts.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Sustainable, wealthy, and balanced markets on Ometepe. International promotion of the island and its flourishing markets. Significant increase of sustainable tourism. Recreating the model on many world regions. Optimizing the software and its applications. Collaboration with international organizations. Interest and support from the Nicaraguan government. Interest from governments all over the world. Access to international funding on bigger scale. A quantitative 5 year goal is to reduce unemployment in Ometepe from ~70% to ~50% and establishing a stable trend.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Contracting with tourist projects. Presenting stories to attract donations. Crowd funding and international media. Participation in competitions and funding proposals. Embedded online promotion both from local businesses and Google Ads. Income by support and hosting of the software. Revenue by reselling high quality products, services, and data. Offers and packages are created and promoted.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

We want to use existing crowd- and micro-funding platforms. We want to become the Kiva partner in Ometepe and learn from existing partners like Fundación Leon 2000 or FUNAFAM. We want to collaborate with, and learn from related projects like Yellow Seed, Farmerline, DUMA or Adel. A number of international NGOs are active on the island. Many foreign volunteers visit the island. The interest to support the 'island of peace' is substantial and growing. Farmers cooperatives and all sort of projects exist, willing to explore new markets. Our focus is on information and collaboration.

Founding Story

Ernesto did his 14 month civil service in Nicaragua starting in 1999, teaching English and IT. On weekends he often visited Ometepe, an attractive, magical island. Ten years after the civil service, he came back and saw a dramatic change in the environment. As a change-maker it became his dream to help in shifting the transition in a good direction. In 2009, Ernesto discovered the ecovillage InanItah on the island, a group helping the local community. Many human success stories have been developed, with the strong involvement of Gaia, a co-founder of InanItah. She continues to seek a more sustainable approach of helping the locals. Her experience together with Ernesto's skills in IT and CRM created the idea of Crear Calidad.


Ernesto will develop the mobile-ready website supported by the Open Source community. Ernesto and Gaia are founders and leaders of the NGO. Other people, especially locals, are invited into leadership as well. The data driven work requires a thorough IT setup. Personal contacts are kept by the leaders, locals, and volunteers. As soon as the office is established, a steady secretary is welcomed in the team and volunteers support the daily work.
About You
InanItah, Crear Calidad
About You
First Name

Ernst Johann

Last Name


About Your Project
Organization Name

InanItah, Crear Calidad

How long has your organization been operating?

Organization Country

, RV, Altagracia

Country where this project is creating social impact

, RV, Ometepe

Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Individuals, Foundations, NGOs, Businesses, Customers.

Awards: What awards or honors has the project received?


Where have you learnt about the competition?

Ashoka newsletter

Tell us about your partnerships:

Our main partner (and first contracting client) is the ecovillage project InanItah on Ometepe. For years this project has participated in social care and funded projects for their workers and neighbors on small scale. This, and other expat projects (e.g. Villa Paradiso, Hospedaje Zopilote, etc.), seek for high quality products, services, and professional ways of wealth distribution. The local governance supports ecological projects.

Challenges: What challenges might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

Hyper capitalism: We use open source software and open data. Transparency, honesty, and personal contacts are the main tools we highlight.

Aggressive promotion of GMO's and mass-produced goods: We will spread success stories using multi-channel-marketing with a focus on word of mouth.

Disadvantages for traditional markets and cultures: We document, present and respect old methods of farming, working and living. We listen to the locals.