TechnoServe Expands Operations to Panama In Order To Help Young Entrepreneurs

The expansion of the successful Crece Tu Empresa program will benefit small growing businesses in the country

Washington, D.C. — The international development nonprofit organization TechnoServe announced today that it will begin operations in the country of Panama for the first time in nearly two decades. With support from the Citi Foundation, TechnoServe will bring the Crece Tu Empresa (“Grow Your Business”) youth entrepreneurship program to the Central American country.

While Panama’s economy is one of the most dynamic in Latin America, the country’s youth unemployment rate stands at 15 percent--a figure that is triple the overall national unemployment rate and higher than the regional average. The Crece Tu Empresa program will address this challenge by working, in its first stage, with 40 young entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and hire more employees, creating strong local models of economic development.

Since the Citi Foundation and TechnoServe launched Crece Tu Empresa in 2015, the program has helped more than 150 youth-owned businesses across a range of sectors in El Salvador and Guatemala to grow their annual sales by an average of 92 percent. The program includes training sessions on high-impact business skills and self-efficacy, as well as mentorship and networking opportunities for the entrepreneurs. This new phase of the program will also benefit an additional 100 entrepreneurs in El Salvador and Guatemala over the next year. Crece Tu Empresa is part of Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress global initiative to prepare young people with career readiness tools and opportunities needed to thrive in today’s economy.

“Youth unemployment is a significant problem in many places around the globe,” said William Warshauer, President and CEO of TechnoServe. “But when these young people are empowered to achieve their economic potential, it creates positive ripple effects across their communities. We are honored to work with the Citi Foundation to expand this proven approach to creating opportunities for young people to Panama.”

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About TechnoServe
TechnoServe is a leader in harnessing the power of the private sector to help people lift themselves out of poverty. A nonprofit organization operating in 30 countries, we work with enterprising men and women in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses and industries. By linking people to information, capital and markets, we have helped millions to create lasting prosperity for their families and communities. TechnoServe has earned a 4-star rating from independent evaluator Charity Navigator for the last 11 years, placing us in the top 1 percent of all its rated nonprofits.

With nearly 50 years of proven results, TechnoServe believes in the power of private enterprise to transform lives.