Having emerged from decades of civil war, Guatemala is now well-positioned to capitalize on its substantial natural resources and climatic advantages.

Although the country continues to face high levels of inequality and a poverty rate above 50 percent, Guatemala has maintained stable economic growth particularly in the increasingly profitable food and beverage industry. TechnoServe is strengthening the coffee value chain and helping existing agricultural businesses, with a view to generating jobs and incomes for poor rural producers. We are also running entrepreneurship training programs that empower men and women to create thriving businesses in a variety of sectors.

On The Ground



Impulsa Tu Empresa

Impulsa Tu Empresa aims to help more than 850 small and growing businesses boost their growth. Through mentoring and business training, the program aims to increase sales by $25 million and generate 750 new jobs in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Burkina Faso.
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Empowering Youth Entrepreneurs in Latin America

Latin America's youth unemployment rate is nearly 30 percent. Youth face unique challenges in obtaining formal employment or becoming successful entrepreneurs. Crece Tu Empresa, TechnoServe's program in partnership with Citi Foundation, is working to address the challenge of youth unemployment in Guatemala and El Salvador. The 1-year program is based on the work of Impulsa Tu Empresa and provides six training workshops for young entrepreneurs focused on business skills like sales and marketing and financial planning. The first cohort of nearly 90 entrepreneurs began the program in 2015. As of February 2016, 42 participants have been able to increase their business' sales by 21 percent in Guatemala and 127 percent in El Salvador and have created 21 new jobs.


Citi Foundation

Promoting Sustainable Economic Growth in Coffee Growing Regions in Eastern Guatemala

TechnoServe is implementing a four-year initiative to train 1,000 farmers in agronomic and sustainability practices in the eastern Guatemala. This project aims to pilot innovative approaches to improve gender equality in the coffee business and in family decision-making. As a complement, TechnoServe will train youth in coffee growing communities to improve their economic opportunities in three areas: farming as a business; creating one's own business; and accessing the formal job market.



Building a Biodiesel Industry

TechnoServe ran a two-year biodiesel pilot project to help farmers capitalize on a new, environmentally friendly business opportunity. TechnoServe helped six communities of small-scale farmers to grow jatropha plants on cleared land that was unsuitable for food crops, and then to process it in local facilities.



Empowering Women-Owned Businesses

TechnoServe helped a group of women mushroom producers to expand its production, providing an opportunity for more than 100 families to substantially increase their incomes through organic mushroom cultivation. TechnoServe also worked with a Maya-nut business owned by more than 30 low-income women to increase its production and develop a marketing campaign.



Creating Sustainable Urban Opportunities

TechnoServe helped establish three business units organized around garbage dumps to produce worm organic fertilizer and prepare recycling materials for further processing. The business units, owned and operated entirely by women living in low-income urban areas, are creating a new source of income for 248 women.



Boosting Agricultural Production

TechnoServe is working with more than 500 small-scale farmers to help them produce profitable crops such as peas, French beans, avocado and banana. TechnoServe advisors are helping the farmers to improve the quality of their products, secure financing needed to modernize and increase production, and tap into lucrative export markets.



Building Strong Businesses

TechnoServe and its partners are running a periodic national business plan competition, Idea Tu Empresa, to help the country's nascent entrepreneurs turn good ideas into thriving, growth-oriented businesses that generate jobs and markets. Thus far, the competitions have focused on agribusiness, light manufacturing, tourism and technology. As a result, dozens of businesses have already been launched or expanded, with incremental revenues exceeding $1 million.



Strengthening the Coffee Value Chain

TechnoServe is developing a four-year initiative to train 12,000 farmers on sustainable agriculture practices and improve wet mill practices. The farmer training modules will cover all sustainable agronomy practices as well as environmental issues and ethical labor management, thereby increasing production while helping farmers to protect the environment and mitigate the effects of climate change. The program aims to increase yields of coffee and food crops such as maize by an average of 25 percent.



Blog Posts

April 13, 2016

Addressing Youth Unemployment in Latin America

By engaging youth in entrepreneurship and agriculture, TechnoServe is working to create sustainable growth in the region.

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March 11, 2016

Partnering to Support Guatemala’s Coffee Farmers

TechnoServe partners with the Canadian Trade Facilitation Office and coffee chain Tim Hortons to help small coffee growers in Guatemala.

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January 14, 2016

Carving Out a Niche Business

With targeted support, an artisan in Guatemala crafts a unique woodworking enterprise.

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More Posts


TechnoServe Guatemala

17 Ave. 19-70, Zona 10
Edificio Torino, Nivel 6, Oficina 602
Guatemala City, Guatemala

Tel: +502 2 367 5459

Eduardo Ruata

Country Director