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MSEs and new ventures will invigorate the life of Santo Domingo’s Colonial City

Apr 15, 2016

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB ) Group, approved a grant of US $850,000 for a project that will contribute to revitalizing the economic activity of 180 micro and small enterprises (MSEs) and create 30 new businesses in Santo Domingo’s Colonial City. Through this project, which will be implemented by the NGO Santo Domingo Tourism Cluster, MSEs will be able to benefit from urban renewal and increase their business opportunities in the area.

In addition to being a renowned sun and sand destination, the Dominican Republic boasts a rich cultural heritage. While the Dominican economy has been expanding at a solid pace, maintaining its status as a growth leader among the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean (thanks in large part to tourism), its tourist attractions need to be improved in order to continue being competitive. To overcome this challenge and ensure the sustainability of socio-economic benefits of the sector, in 2011 the Government of the Dominican Republic initiated a process of diversification into new forms of cultural tourism in order to increase the competitiveness of the tourism sector in the country and differentiate itself other international destinations. The Tourism Development program of the Colonial City (CC) of Santo Domingo (supported by an IDB loan) focuses on the urban revitalization of the important architectural complex of the colonial era. Thanks to this program, the Colonial City has begun to have greater economic dynamism, attracting significant private investment. In this context, the approved project will seek to stimulate the activity of MSEs in the CC by improving their services, or creating new services, so that they can take advantage of new market opportunities that are opening with the urban renewal.

Specifically, the project will strengthen the business models of existing MSEs, providing them with business advisory services and support to improve their offerings and marketing strategy. Additionally, they will also receive support for the physical rehabilitation of their businesses and/or the façades of their premises. The project will also contribute to starting up new ventures that complement existing offerings and that respond to the value proposition of the colonial city as a vibrant city.  In order to do this, a competition will be held for new ventures, indicating the sectors that have been prioritized because they correspond to gaps in services identified in the local or tourist markets and create jobs for the local population.

About the Tourism Cluster of Santo Domingo (CTSD)

The Tourism Cluster of Santo Domingo (CTSD) is a non-profit organization based in the Colonial City of Santo Domingo dedicated to the promotion of tourism development in the city, promoting the destination as well as activities that have an impact on different tourism sectors. Learn more at

About the MIF

The Multilateral Investment Fund is the innovation lab for the Inter-American Development Bank Group. It conducts high-risk experiments to test new models for engaging and inspiring the private sector to solve economic development problems in Latin America and the Caribbean. The MIF addresses poverty and vulnerability by focusing on emerging businesses and smallholder farmers with the capacity to grow and create economic opportunities.

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