supporting socially responsible businesses in emerging markets
Agora Partnerships accelerates the growth of early-stage impact companies inLatin America. We are a global community of entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, and individuals dedicated to using the power of business to effect positive change in their communities. We work only with early-stage entrepreneurs where the right kind of support can significantly accelerate their ability to create impact. Our aim is to help build a more just, sustainable world primarily though our Impact Accelerator program, which provides entrepreneurs with access to social, human, and financial capital.
Over the course of the last two years, eighteen businesses have participated in Agora's Accelerator, which provides entrepreneurs with personalized consulting, mentors, leadership development, and the opportunity to pitch to impact investors from around the world.
920 U Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
Ben Powell became convinced of the power of small business to fight poverty as an entrepreneur in Mexico, where he co-founded CityGolf Puebla, a miniature golf course and family entertainment park. While a student at Columbia Business School in 2005, he launched Agora Partnerships with the help of nearly 20 Columbia students and Ricardo Teran, an entrepreneur from Nicaragua, home of the organization's first office. In addition to his M.B.A. from Columbia, Ben has an M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a B.A. from Haverford College. Ben was an examiner in the International Affairs Division of the White House Office of Management and Budget and has worked at Ashoka on its Full Economic Citizenship initiative. Ben received the I-Qube award for innovation, inspiration and impact from Dalberg Global Advisors, and is part of the Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE).
- Provided over 60 entrepreneurship workshops to over 4,000 current or aspiring small business owners with over 100 media appearances promoting entrepreneurship
- Enabled average increases of 112% in sales, 62% in employment, and 15% in average wages and benefits in Agora businesses
- Mobilized over 300 volunteers from top business schools to provide intensive consulting to over 90 impact entrepreneurs and their ventures throughoutCentral America
- Created first award to recognize small business impact entrepreneurship inCentral America
- Pioneered early consulting and research for the Global Impact Investment Rating System (GIIRS)
- Founding member of: B-Corp, GIIRS Pioneer Fund, Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, Ashoka Changemakers, Pulse and IRIS global standards beta-test
- Agora’s first Accelerator was founded in 2011 and included nine selected companies from an assortment of sectors and four different Central American countries. Over 50% of participating companies received investment. In 2012, we selected nine companies from Central America andMexico, of which nearly 70% are currently in negotiations with investors. In less than two years, Accelerator companies have attracted more than US$3,500,000 dollars in investment. In 2013, we will be accepting over 30 companies from throughoutLatin America.
- Founded in 2005, Agora Partnerships has helped small business entrepreneurs create measurable positive social impact in the form of job creation
- Jobs created and sustained: