TechnoServe Completes First National Business Plan Competition in Honduras

Eight winners from three sectors were awarded a total of $60,000 in cash prizes.

APRIL 30, 2008 —Tegucigalpa, Honduras—In a night filled with emotion and suspense, eight winners were announced yesterday in Honduras’ first national business plan competition, Idea tu Empresa . The winners received cash prizes totaling $60,000 to implement and grow their businesses.

The winners represented each of the three categories: agroindustry, manufacturing and tourism, and hailed from all over the country. The winning business plans ranged from indigenous-themed restaurants to a thermal bath to a plastic recycling collection center to a business selling traditional hand-embroidered scarves. Winners received cash prizes of $5,000 or $10,000.

Sixty-six of the 172 overall applicants made it to the second round of competition, where they attended a training session and pitched their business plans to a panel of judges. Twenty-two were then chosen as finalists and attended the April 29 awards ceremony.

Idea tu Empresa is a program implemented by TechnoServe to identify promising entrepreneurs and help them turn their ideas into profitable enterprises, stimulating economic activity in developing countries. From 2002-2006, TechnoServe’s Latin American business plan competitions–held in El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua–have helped create or expand 238 businesses, creating more than 1,400 new jobs. TechnoServe runs similar business plan competitions in Africa.

The first Honduran competition was made possible with support from a host of international TechnoServe supporters, including Cargill, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, PriceWaterhouseCooper, GTZ, el Comisionado Presidencial para la Competitividad, and la Cámara Nacional de Turismo Honduras (CANATURH).

About TechnoServe: TechnoServe helps entrepreneurial men and women in the developing world to build businesses that provide jobs, income and economic opportunity. Since its founding in 1968, the U.S.-based nonprofit has helped to create or expand thousands of businesses, benefiting millions of people in more than 30 countries. TechnoServe has been recognized as one of the world's “Outstanding Social Entrepreneurs” by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. In 2007, Charity Navigator also once again awarded its highest Four Star ranking to TechnoServe.