Social Impact Incubator Nicaragua

Incubadora de Impacto Social Nicaragua

On November 8, 2019, The Resource Foundation and Asociación para la Cooperación Educativa Nicaragüense celebrated the graduation of the first cohort of local organizations at the Vega Baja Training Center in Diriamba, Nicaragua. The core objectives, values and vision of the Incubadora de Impacto Social Nicaragua – IIS Nicaragua –were overwhelmingly evident in the remarks made during the graduation event. “In Nicaragua, I would say that most organizations work in isolation from one another, and many work in the same territory with the same beneficiaries. A program like this, it strengthens alliances between organizations and provides the opportunity for organizations to expand and diversify,” commented accomplished development professional, university professor and IIS Nicaragua advisor, Helena Edwards.

The program brought opportunities for new alliances within and among the local organizations themselves, but was further successful in its ability to offer capacity-building targeted at the individual and organizational levels, as well as at the sector as a whole.  “This experience has helped to demonstrate the richness that exists in these types of cross-sector partnerships”, began TRF President and CEO, Marcela Lopez-Macedonio. “The core of the program is in strengthening the local NGOs and social enterprises, to support their leaders and team members so as to cultivate a collective growth and greater collaboration that will ultimately help the entire sector be more sustainable.


What is the IIS Nicaragua?

In 2019, we worked with Segal Family Foundation (SFF) and Nicaragua-based partner Asociación para la Cooperación Educativa Nicaragüense (ACOEN) to pilot SFF´s signature Social Impact Incubator program in Latin America. After successful implementation across Africa, TRF collaborated to adapt the program to Nicaragua. 

The Incubadora de Impacto Social Nicaragua (IIS Nicaragua) brings together 18 local nonprofits in Nicaragua working in the education, environment, health, and economic development sectors. These nonprofits address many of the country’s very real challenges, including the second highest poverty rate in Latin America, pervasive gender-based violence, school abandonment, child labor and high teen pregnancy rates. Through in-person workshops, site visits, coaching and webinar trainings on topics like Strategic Planning, Program Development and Marketing and Communications, these 18 organizations gain valuable opportunities to learn from and share ideas with experts and one another.

Local organizations play a crucial role in tackling social, economic and development challenges at the community level, yet training for nonprofits themselves is largely unavailable. Programs like the IIS Nicaragua permit these local organizations to build capacity while working alongside fellow non-profits in their communities to build sustainable, long-lasting change.