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Helping young Bolivian entrepreneurs enter the hospitality industry

Apr 28, 2016

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, recently approved a US$800,000 grant for a project that will provide training and other support to young entrepreneurs in Bolivia who seek to work in the culinary and hospitality industry. The project will be co-financed and executed by the Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO), a Dutch nongovernmental organization (NGO), and will be the sixth project of the Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP), a regional initiative led by the MIF and Youth Business International (YBI).

The YEP project will build on the experience of the ICCO-funded “Manq’a” culinary schools, which are named after the word in the indigenous Aymara language for “food,” and which work with young Bolivians to create and commercialize food products based on traditional Bolivian products and cuisine.  The Manq’a schools operate with a community outreach approach, forming strategic partnerships with community councils, educational organizations, the private sector, local and national government agencies, and others. Its relationship with the restaurant Gustu gives some students opportunities for hands-on experience in the culinary and hospitality industry at a fine-dining establishment that was founded by a famous Danish chef and is frequently listed as among the world’s best restaurants.

With the additional funding from the MIF and ICCO, the Manq’a schools will broaden their teaching models to include entrepreneurship training and support, and will also partner with technical institutes to offer students training in other areas of the hospitality sector. 

The project will provide training and mentoring in a range of key entrepreneurial, technical, and soft skills to at least 2,700 low-income young people between the ages of 16 and 29 in the cities of El Alto, La Paz, and Sucre.  It is expected to support 1,260 young people in starting businesses in the hospitality sector. 

About the Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation

The Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO) works to reduce poverty, inequality, and injustice so people can live with dignity and in prosperity. To do so, it works with local civil society actors to build capacity and provide technical assistance, promoting knowledge sharing and creating partnerships between different actors throughout the world. 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. Learn more at

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