Innovators in Rural Community Economic Development

Opportunity International Nicaragua: A Model for Sharing Economic Benefits of Enterprise Development in Phases

Tags: Agriculture, Best Practices, Community Economic Development, Natural Resource Based Economic Development, Research

Client Name: Opportunity International

Client Type: Non-profit

Year: 2011

Location: Minnesota, Nicaragua

Opportunity International Nicaragua (OIN) is a nonprofit organization working to blend community economic development strategies with microfinance strategies to benefit the poorest of the poor in Nicaragua. As part of their work, OIN has incubated a value-added agricultural enterprise based on yucca. OIN asked Yellow Wood Associates to think with them about how the phases in the development of this enterprise might be structured so that, over the next 20 years, it is transformed from a program of OIN to a profitable self-standing business that has not lost its focus on serving the poorest of the poor and their communities. Yellow Wood produced a report based on best practices gleaned from reviews of literature and interviews with several practitioners of international development that defined four phases in the transition from incubation to majority local ownership and addressed the evolution of six key enterprise characteristics: Ownership and Structure; Investment and Financing; Governance and Distribution of Benefits; Supply Management and Farmer Relations; Management and Staffing; and Profitability, Products, and Markets.