Founded in 1985, Fundación Paraguaya is a self-sustaining social enterprise based in Asunción, Paraguay. Its mission is to develop and implement practical, innovative and sustainable solutions to poverty and to create decent living conditions for every family. Its vision is for its work in Paraguay to serve as an example and inspiration to others around the world.
Fundación Paraguaya seeks to eliminate poverty through an integrated strategy which offers 80,000+ clients various programs including microfinance products, entrepreneurship education, self-sustainable schools, and the Poverty Stoplight. It works on the following thematic areas.
1 – Education
Learning by doing, selling and earning via an innovative school model: Students and teachers operate on-campus businesses that serve the triple purpose of providing both academic and practical education for students in a business environment, helping them become rural entrepreneurs and generating income to sustain the schools. Click here for a video about the school model (in Spanish).
2 – Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurial education provides youth and parents with business management skills and mentoring to help them find jobs and/or create their own employment. These programs enable low-income, urban and rural students to acquire knowledge, skills and competencies that are necessary for employment in a competitive, modern economy, but are generally missing in traditional secondary school curricula. Click here for a video about one of our entrepreneurship programs (in Spanish).
3 – Microfinance
Microfinance, Microfranchises and Microinsurance to increase clients’ income and reduce their financial risks, and alliances with other specialized institutions to provide clients with services to address their other poverty-related problems (80,000 total clients with over 87% women). Our work in the world of microfinance demonstrates how fostering entrepreneurship in people with limited resources can strengthen precarious jobs, promote the creation of jobs, increase gender equity and augment family income. Click here for a video about one of our microfinance programs focused on inclusive microfinance for people with disabilities.
4 – Poverty elimination
Transversal to all of Fundacion Paraguaya’s programs, the Poverty Stoplight is a self-evaluation tool that measures poverty according to 50 indicators. It allows families, ranging from the rural poor to employees of private companies – 90 percent of whom are women –, to take stock of their poverty-related problems and design their own “life maps” for overcoming them. Click here to watch a video highlighting Fundación Paraguaya’s innovative methodology.
This integrated strategy produces a geo-referenced map of clients’ needs, and channels resources where they are needed most, using its 25 microfinance offices as the distribution network and, most importantly, empowers clients and their families to be the main protagonists in their victories over poverty.
Fundación Paraguaya is internationally recognized for social innovation. A member of the Schwab Foundation and Skoll Foundation networks of Social Entrepreneurs, it has received numerous awards for innovation in education and youth employment.
To learn more about Fundación Paraguaya and how you can support its work, please call TRF at 212-675-6170. Donations may be made to this fund through TRF by clicking here.