Small business partnerships support UN SDG goals

Oralia Ramirez at a rural food products festival in León

World Entrepreneurship Day is celebrated every April 16, promoting entrepreneurship and encouraging the creation of businesses, within the larger goals of equity, poverty reduction, education and environmental restoration.

Starting a business is full of challenges and opportunities, it is not an easy task. In addition to a great idea, perseverance, planning, modernization and the ability to innovate and organization are needed.

ViviendasLeón has been supporting the start of small family businesses for more than 10 years, increasing employment and family incomes in the communities of Sutiaba where we work. Our work aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals SDG  1: Ending poverty and SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth, through our entrepreneurship training and small to medium business development support.

One of the small family partnership businesses that is representative of our work in Sutiava is the COABE cooperative. It began with ideas based in environmental restoration and making use of existing resources within the community. COABE was born from the enthusiasm of two rural women to own their own hives,  producing honey and making natural cosmetics using honey as a raw material.

Oralia Ramirez – Co-founder of COABE

”The idea of having an apiary arose after we finished the HCT training program in 2012. We had enough knowledge to get it started at a location far away from our homes. We started the COABE collective with other women members. First they gave us 5 boxes and in less than a year we already had 30 hives.  With the passage of time and the help of ViviendasLeón and some government institutions, we have become more skilled technically and successful economically. 

Today we produce more than 200 liters of honey per year. We make shampoo, liquid soap and lotions. Ever since 2012, we have been working to grow our business. Our perseverance has been essential for our business venture to come alive and expand.”

Based on the experience and growth of COABE In the community of Goyena, we will begin training and organizing a new bee venture located in the nearby community of Troilo. COABE members will assist in the bee training workshops to support the new business which will generate at least 5 new direct jobs in the community.

ViviendasLeon has developed a Small-Medium Business (SME) program that is one model for achieving the goals of the Sustainable Development Program. From HCT training processes to integration of technical courses, and supporting the start and development of family partnership businesses. SMEs generate greater development alternatives and economic growth and better opportunities that alleviate poverty in the rural communities of Nicaragua.