We believe traditional entrepreneurs are the fundamental building block for Latin America’s long-term stability and prosperity.


But we are also pragmatic enough to know that they need to transform their perspective, practices, and tools to stay relevant and become more resilient.


That’s why we offer them practical on-the-ground expertise, a strong network of corporate and government partners, and a range of innovative technology solutions to help them succeed in today’s rapidly changing markets.


A journey of spirit, cooperation,
and change.

FUNDES was founded in 1984 in response to a devastating wave of unemployment that hit the continent. Our founder, Stephan Schmidheiny was convinced that traditional entrepreneurs could be the best development opportunity for Latin America, and he was determined to be part of the answer.

He created an organization that gave micro-entrepreneurs access to credit to create jobs and contribute to growth. Gradually, FUNDES moved away from its original activity of financial support to focus on innovative ways to help micro and small businesses reach their full potential as changemakers.

We have built large-scale development programs around small businesses with corporations, foundations, governments, and international organizations.

After nearly 40 years, the same conviction still drives in 1984 in response to a devastating wave of unemployment spirit and celebrate the courage and passion it takes to build a small business here in Latin America.


To unleash the sustainable development of Latin America through the growth of small businesses. We fight poverty through livelihood and job creation.


We empower, digitize, and nurture small business owners from the traditional economy. Our solutions unlock their potential as changemakers for their community, their habitat, and all those who depend on them.


Countries with active projects: Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Brasil, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay.

Hubs: Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru.

We are represented in the United States, Latin America, and Europe.


Countries with active projects: Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Brasil, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay.

Hubs: Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru.

We are represented in the United States, Latin America, and Europe.

38 years speaking the language of MSMEs



multinational companies


governments, development agencies and foundations in the region


million MSME´s brought together

presence in 17 Latin American countries








Total Participants

Our team

“The passion in our team’s DNA is to change lives. We are a group of people of different nationalities and disciplines who are committed to making a change by developing projects and solutions that promote and empower small businesses in the traditional economy.”

Chief Executive Officer

Elfid Torres

Constantly looking for new talent!


Alejandro Viana

Project Leader

Alexandra Castillo

Project Coordinator

Anwar Suaréz

Project Manager

Carolina Rodríguez

Project Analyst

Ernesto Madrid

International Cooperation Leader

Florencia Colunga

Growth and Alliances Manager. Mexico.

José Rafael Trejos

Project Coordinator

José Riley

Project Coordinator

Juan Pablo Rodríguez

Project Leader

Mara Chuco

Project Analyst

María Fernanda Goñi

Marketing Manager

María Janeth Romero

Project Manager

Mauricio Ramírez

Senior Manager FUNDES Consulting

Randolph Salazar

Senior Project Manager

Yadira Kawasaki

Consultancy Manager


Alessandra Pelliccia

Investor Relations Intern

Alfredo Arias

Digital Marketing Specialist

Corentin Larue

Catalyst Director

Deni Salazar

Catalyst Ventures Intern

Dulce Hernández

Ventures Coordinator

Gina Hollenbach

Business Designer Intern

Hugo Sánchez

Ecobodegas Operations Leader

Jorge Martínez

Service Designer Coordinator

Lorena Chacón

Head of Voalá

Maxime Braun

Venture Building Manager

Olivia Calderón

Senior Business Designer

Omar Álvarez

Head of Product

Ricardo Vaca

CEO of Merkomuna

Rosaura Landeros

Catalyst Graphic Designer

Sarah Linder

Marketing & Content Manager

FUNDES Bolivia & Venezuela

Leslie Claros

Head of Bolivia

Leonardo Suárez

Project Manager

Cielo Velandia

Head of Venezuela

FUNDES Venezuela

Cielo Velandia

Head of Venezuela

FUNDES Bolivia

Leonardo Suárez

Project Manager

Leslie Claros

Head of Bolivia


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Talent Acquisition

Information Technology

Andrea Jiménez

Talent & Management Leader

Priscilla Jiménez

Talent Acquisition Director

Adolfo Oconitrillo

Technical Support Analyst

Carlos Lezcano

Programmer Analyst

Emmanuel Saborío

IT Manager

Administration & Finances

Angie Bolaños

Accounting Leader

Catalina Pacheco

Administration & Finances Director

Grettel Solís

Accounting Analyst

Javier Arias

Accounting Analyst

Kattia Vega

Treasury Manager

Luis Vega


Nayelli Hernández

Accounting Coordinator

Priscila Cabrera

Legal Analyst

Shakti Chacón

Administrative Accounting Assistant

Vanessa Rivera

Accounting Analyst

Wilson Cubillos

Administrative Analyst

Our board of directors

Andreas Eggenberg

Andreas has extensive experience in global organizations working for sustainable business. He is currently Chairman of Masisa and Ingenio Magdalena S.A.; and a member of the Board of Directors of Solarcentury, VIVA Trust, the Presidential Advisory Council of INCAE Business School, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and VIVA Idea and Fundación Avina.

Gabriela Víquez

Gabriela holds an MBA from the Universidad de Costa Rica, and is experienced in mergers and acquisitions and international corporate structuring. She was Commercial Manager of Banca Premier at Banco Nacional de Costa Rica and Sales Manager of the Equity Market and International Markets at Bolsa BN Valores. Currently she us Corporate Director of Business Development and Managing Director of Cuestamoras.

Jenny Everett

Jenny holds an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business and a BA from Davidson College and has extensive experience in entrepreneurship, impact investing, non-profit management, and philanthropy. She was the Managing Director of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) for 12 years, where she led the international team. She is also on the Board of Villgro USA and is part of Social Venture Partners Austin and Impact Austin.

Richard Aitkenhead

Richard has a MPA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He served as Minister of Economy and Finance in Guatemala (actively involved in the country’s Peace Agreements), Director of INCAE Business School, and is currently President of IDC Group.

Rocío Abud

Rocío holds a Master's degree in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries from the University of London School of Economics and Political Science. Her education and experience have enabled her to drive growth by supporting the development of social responsibility and supply chain programs in Mexico. She is currently the Director of Social Responsibility and the Coppel Foundation and a member of the Michoacán Economic Council.

Ulrich Frei

Ulrich holds a Master's degree in Pharmacy from Ecole Suisse de Droguerie and an MBA from IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland. He has extensive management experience in various industries and has worked in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. From 2008 to 2013, he was CEO of FUNDES, and is now a permanent member of the Board of Directors.


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