Agora Partnerships

Empowering Entrepreneurs to Transform the World

Washington, DC   |  www.agora2030.org

Mission

Agora empowers purpose-driven entrepreneurs with knowledge, networks, and capital opportunities. We are a community of entrepreneurs, investors, consultants and partners who take action to strengthen entrepreneurship across the Americas. Entrepreneurship is fundamental to human progress. In order to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals - to challenge global inequality, fight extreme poverty, and protect our planet - we need to unlock entrepreneurial potential. Agora helps entrepreneurs to build a more inclusive and sustainable society.

Ruling year info

2006

Chief Executive Officer

Mrs. Cecilia Foxworthy

Chief Operating Officer

Mrs. Austine Gasnier

Main address

1314 Massachusetts Ave SE

Washington, DC 20003 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

83-0434876

NTEE code info

Management Services for Small Business/Entrepreneurs (S43)

Management & Technical Assistance (S02)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (S12)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The business environments in Latin America that support opportunity-driven and impact-focused entrepreneurship are weak. Trust is low, capital is scarce, and the cost of failure is high. This is why organizations like Agora are so needed today - to fight against the status quo which is not working for the vast majority of people. We need to be working together to figure out how best to invest resources that create dynamic, functioning economies that serve local entrepreneurs and catalyze local markets. Tackling this complex challenge is a goal worthy of attention and investment, and it plays to America’s strengths: faith in human innovation and human agency. The work of Agora is an example of effective citizens’ diplomacy: partnering with local innovators to build their own solutions on their own terms. By doing so, Agora is fighting to make economies more responsive to citizens’ needs by helping entrepreneurs with positive visions for the future to compete and grow.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Agora Growth Program

Agora Partnerships is a pioneering international organization that is accelerating the shift to a more sustainable and equitable world through the visionary social impact entrepreneurs it supports. Agora strengthens entrepreneurs’ businesses and prepares them to scale through specialized intensive bootcamps, world-class personalized consulting, and access to a global network of investors.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Men and boys

The objective of this Train-the-Trainer program is to develop the capacity of incubator leaders, entrepreneurial support organizations and university professors to inspire and equip the next generation of Latin American impact entrepreneurs. Participants will specifically be able to: 1) develop entrepreneurial competencies in others, 2) incubate the entrepreneurial mindset, 3) encourage self-employment via the creation of new business.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Men and boys

MSMEs in Latin America confront an estimated USD 1 trillion credit gap, often due to the lack of appropriate products and services on the market. Barriers to accessing finance disproportionately impact women entrepreneurs, who often have fewer assets and fewer opportunities to develop their business management capacity. To address these challenges, the Variable Payment Obligation (VPO) Program focuses on the nexus between the need for advisory and enterprise growth services (EGS) and an innovative financial product (loan tied to cash-flow) to support the growth of the banks’ lending to women-led MSMEs.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Self-employed people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Hours of consulting time accessed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Self-employed people

Related Program

Agora Growth Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In total, since Agora started accelerating companies back in 2011, we have delivered over 20,000 hours of 1:1 consulting, resulting in 650+ deliverables produced together with our alumni entrepreneurs

Number of customers reporting satisfaction with program

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Self-employed people

Related Program

Agora Growth Program

Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Across all our programs, we have an average 95% satisfaction rate among entrepreneurs we serve. Many recommend our program to peers and several of them have become Agora donors themselves.

Number of participants engaged in programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Self-employed people

Related Program

Agora Growth Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Overall, since 2005, Agora has supported over 300 social entrepreneurs across Latin America through its Accelerator program, and another 1,000+ through different programs in Nicaragua specifically.

Number of loans issued

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Self-employed people

Related Program

Agora Growth Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In partnership with Kiva and World Impact Foundation, Agora has been able to disburse 15 patient loans to social entrepreneurs to date, with amounts ranging from $10 to $50k USD.

Total dollar amount of loans issued

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Self-employed people

Related Program

Agora Growth Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

To date, Agora has disbursed almost $500,000 USD in low-interest loans to social entrepreneurs across Latin America.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Agora Partnerships is a pioneering not-for-profit organization empowering purpose-driven entrepreneurs across Latin America and the Caribbean. We give entrepreneurs and entrepreneur-serving organizations the tools, resources and networks they need to accelerate the growth of their enterprises and embed impact into their models to generate change. In order to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals - to challenge global inequality, fight extreme poverty, and protect our planet - and to create the 380 million new jobs associated with them, we need to unlock entrepreneurial potential - and this is what Agora aims to achieve.

We work with impact-driven companies by providing them with acceleration services to help entrepreneurs build a more inclusive and sustainable society. This includes: (1) access to knowledge (e.g. business strategy, investment preparedness, financial expertise, through bootcamps and 1:1 consulting); (2) access to networks (peers, mentors, service providers, and investors); and (3) access to capital (directly and through our investor network). Agora works to advance entrepreneurship by building community, treating every entrepreneur as an individual with tailored, strategic support, running a network of aligned investors, all the while working to strengthen the general environment for entrepreneurship in communities in which we operate.


In addition to working directly with the entrepreneurs, we realize that the environments in which entrepreneurs operate are critically important to their success. As a result, we also focus our work on strengthening the ecosystems in which we operate through industry events, financial innovation, train-the-trainer programs, and field building initiatives (e.g. Agora is a founding member of ANDE and B Corp and leader of a COVID-19 Ecosystem Task Force).

We have 15 years of experience working in the field of impact investing and social entrepreneurship, a field presence throughout the continent, a multidisciplinary team, and an extensive network of partners. We have a hub-and-spoke model with two main regional offices, one for North America (USA and Mexico) and one for Central America (based in Nicaragua), from which we have been able to serve entrepreneurs across 21 Latin American countries. More than 15 professionals from different areas make up our human talent and we have developed robust recruiting processes that enable us to quickly and efficiently source highly qualified consultants based on project needs from our pool of 40 former consulting fellows. In addition to our experts in business development, we have a strong administrative team that allows us to fulfill all the requirements of our funders, some of which include USAID, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Argidius Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation.

To date, we have supported over 300 impact-focused entrepreneurs and over 600 traditional entrepreneurs and have been running 3 different programs: an impact-focused accelerator, a Train-the-Trainer for early-stage ecosystem players and a business-resilience process for traditional businesses. Specifically in 2019, we delivered over 500 hours of individual consulting, obtained a +90% satisfaction rate from our programs’ participants, helped them produce over 700 deliverables and disbursed over US$200,000 to entrepreneurs. Collectively, our alumni have impacted over 6 million lives across the region, raised over $100M USD, and employed 5,000+ people.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Small and Growing Businesses (opportunity-driven entrepreneurs)

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person),

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We continuously improve program delivery and content based on feedback received from participants (for instance, length of training sessions, dynamics used during sessions, relevance of training content, etc.). As a particular example, we included more case studies of local entrepreneurs in our training content, as requested by participants so that they could identify more easily with real-life examples from peers.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    This strengthens the mutual trust there is between Agora as an organization, its team members and the entrepreneurs. It levels out the relationship as Agora stops to only be the “provider” of support and gives back some importance to the entrepreneurs’ perspective and knowledge of what they need. It is also an excellent way of keeping in touch with our community of entrepreneurs, as it fosters interactions in a more natural way than asking for updates on companies.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection,

Financials

Agora Partnerships
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Agora Partnerships

Board of directors
as of 6/29/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ricardo Terán

Ben Powell

Tabitha Jordan

Adam J Weissman Foundation

Ezra Friedman

Northwestern School of Law

Melissa Cheong

Blackhorn Ventures

Holly Huffman MacDonald

Bessemer Trust

Ricardo Teran Teran

Agora Partnerships

Chris Jurgens

Omidyar Network

Eric Sillman

Aperture Venture Partners

Scott Leonard

Indigenous Designs

Tom Mitchell

Cambridge Associates

Eugenio de Hostos

Drug Innovation and Access Initiative

Brian Bell

Camber Collective

Arturo Sarukhan

Former Mexican Ambassador to the United States

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 06/21/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/21/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.