This project will target low-income families and enable the creation of food related businesses. Illustrative examples of the kind of potential businesses include: commercialization of food products, restaurants, and kids parties. Participants in the program will be given a strong entrepreneurial support mechanism, as well as direct help in ongoing operations by leveraging Alfa's logistic and delivery expertise.
Using a three-tiered approach to educate the entrepreneurs involved in the program, the first step will include motivational training which will ensure the creation of a feeling of empowerment, especially for women, and will transmit the idea that in fact participants can borrow, operate, and earn income as a means to reduce their economic vulnerability. The second training level will focus on building entrepreneurial skills: financial planning, loan securing, and business plan development. The third level will be hands on support to achieve the creation and operation of the particular business launched.
The program will assume responsibility to facilitate loan securitization, which will be obtained either by pricing of inventory or by establishing a partnership with a financial institution. Loans will be repaid within the first year of operation but the program's support will continue on an ongoing basis. Alfa will leverage its expertise in logistics to provide even daily deliveries, thus overcoming the challenge of storing of refrigerated and perishable foods.
Upon finalizing the first year of this phase, an evaluation process will be completed and conclusions on how to replicate and grow nationally will be obtained.
According to World Bank figures, approximately half of Mexico's population lives in poverty and up to one-fifth of the population lives in extreme poverty. Empirical evidence has shown that initiatives that support sustainable growth, such as microfinancing and support with entrepreneurial activities, remain the most effective way of combating poverty in the long term. These actions not only support hunger and poverty eradication, but also have a positive impact on achieving higher levels of primary education and promote gender equality in cases where women are bread-winners. Restaurants and food related businesses allow for a significant margin to be achieved based on labor, while providing the necessary flexibility for women involved in the program to continue to grow in their familial capacities as parents and home managers. Thus, the creation of food-related businesses in low-income families offers not only economic support but also has a positive impact on social indicators.