OPPORTUNITY THROUGH BUSINESS

We create and run businesses with poor communities. These for-profit enterprises bring meaningful employment to people usually too uneducated or underemployed to escape poverty.  

Business ideas start in the community itself. We build a multidisciplinary team to study, test and launch the business, and run it with the community members. The business then provides jobs and capital for new ventures.

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ENGAGE

We create spaces where people can talk about life in the community, problems they encounter and business and development ideas. 

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KICKSTART

Acting as a catalyst, we start businesses with the community to create jobs, build capital and make products that make life better for everyone.

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CONNECT

We engage churches, universities, businesses, NGOs, donors and the public sector to co-construct our programs.

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POVERTY IS...We understand poverty is the vicious cycle where uneducated and underemployed parents can’t make the investments in nutrition, education and health that their kids need to thrive. Therefore, their children will most likely end up uneducated, disease-ridden and poor. They will go on to have children in similar conditions. This vicious cycle will turn unhindered until something is done to break it. It demands immediate assistance to cover the basic needs and investments to build capital and reduce vulnerability. 

ENTREPRENEURSHIP. Entrepreneurship has been hailed as a window to escape poverty. In the past decade, microfinance institutions have sprouted everywhere lending capital to the poor based on the idea that “every person is an entrepreneur,” lacking only financial capital. Although very positive, not everyone is in a position to start a business, with many starting ventures already saturated in their communities, like stores, food stands or businesses that won’t scale. In reality, most won't start a business that will lift them from poverty. 

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IT TAKES A TEAM. We know that although people in communities are hardworking and eager to get ahead, they do not always have the skills and resources to start and run a business. This is where we come in: Upward Ventures and its partners brings research, business plans, customer development, capital - and all the other elements needed to build a sustainable and scalable enterprise. We build businesses inside the communities that ideated them, providing jobs and opportunity for community development. Our companies are B-corps, focusing on our social & environmental impact while pursuing financial sustainability.

In 2014 we completed the community cistern to address one of the most pressing issues in Las Malvinas: lack of water. In 2014 we started focusing on employment: conducting a crafts training for women and exploring enterprise ideas. 

The community water cistern, built by Upward Ventures, Practivistas DR and the community of Las Malvinas, now provides the bottom half of the community with a steady source of water. 

The community water cistern, built by Upward Ventures, Practivistas DR and the community of Las Malvinas, now provides the bottom half of the community with a steady source of water. 

In May 2014 we kicked off a tree planting pilot, planting 300 trees in the community with adults and children. We are searching for the best practice to ensure the trees are cared for. 

In May 2014 we kicked off a tree planting pilot, planting 300 trees in the community with adults and children. We are searching for the best practice to ensure the trees are cared for. 

Families depended on water trucks, paying 10 to 15 times more per gallon that most people do. The cistern has relieved the community of the pains of not having a steady water supply.

Families depended on water trucks, paying 10 to 15 times more per gallon that most people do. The cistern has relieved the community of the pains of not having a steady water supply.

Women learned how to make all types of jewelry - necklaces, wrist pieces, earrings; then received a kit to make the first batches and start selling.    15 women successfully finished the course.

Women learned how to make all types of jewelry - necklaces, wrist pieces, earrings; then received a kit to make the first batches and start selling.    15 women successfully finished the course.