In light of Global Entrepreneurship Week, we would like to promote our recent announcement of the BetterTogether, JuntosEsMejor, Challenge, a program launched by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
With this new partnership, USAID and IDB will provide $13.5 million to crowdsource, fund, and scale innovative solutions that support Venezuelans inside the country, Venezuelans across Latin America and the Caribbean, and the communities hosting them.
As a platform for collaboration and additional partnerships, the BetterTogether Challenge will pool knowledge and resources, gather local insights, host co-creation events, and build a marketplace of tested, market-ready solutions to help Venezuelans and the communities hosting them. Applications for funding will address four focus areas: people, productivity, services, and finance.
BetterTogether may award grants, loans, and equity investments. Beyond financial support, awardees will be eligible for other benefits, including technical assistance, access to networks, and publicity. The funding levels are below:
Tier 1, Ideas: Up to $25,000 to develop and test an early-stage idea.
Tier 2, Prototype: Up to $250,000 to pilot and assess an existing prototype in the regional crisis context.
Tier 3, Validation: Up to $500,000 to test broader market readiness for successfully piloted solutions.
Tier 4, Scaling: Up to $1,500,000 for solutions with demonstrated commercial viability or public sector partnerships in the regional crisis context, which is required to leverage additional external funding.
Currently, solutions can be implemented in the following countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Panama, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela. BetterTogether will augment the U.S. Government's ongoing support to Venezuelans in Venezuela, as well as Venezuelans who have fled and the generous communities hosting them through Latin America and the Caribbean.
Since Fiscal Year 2017, the United States has provided more than $631 million, including nearly $473 million in humanitarian assistance and more than $159 million in development, economic, and health assistance.
The Challenge also complements IDB's broader support to countries hosting migrants in the region. The Bank has launched a special grant facility that will help countries integrate migrants into local communities and contribute to their development. The IDB will provide $100 million to the facility, with additional resources expected to be provided by the donor community. These grant funds will be combined with regular IDB loan operations of $800 million.
To apply or contribute as a partner for the BetterTogether Challenge, visit www.JuntosEsMejorVE.org.
See our full press release, published on October 21, 2019.