Model & Strategy
Agora Partnerships was founded on the belief that entrepreneurship and innovation are the key drivers of human progress. Unleashing the potential of entrepreneurs who are building purpose-driven businesses that create value for every stakeholder is essential to overcoming critical global challenges.
Agora provides entrepreneurs who are intentionally building businesses that solve social and environmental challenges in Latin America with the resources they need to grow. They accomplish this primarily through their flagship program, the Agora Accelerator, a four-month program designed to provide entrepreneurs access to the knowledge, networks, and capital they need to succeed.
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.
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 the Social Venture Network Innovation Award. He is a top 40 under 40 development leader in Washington, D.C. and is part of the Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE).
Since 2011, Agora has served over 125 companies working in 19 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean.
Agora has helped them raise more than $52 million in capital, achieve 41% average annual revenue growth, and maintain 89% survival rate.