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300 Micro and Small Entrepreneurs Graduate from La Constancia's Support Programme for MSE

21 May 2012

San Salvador, Wednesday, May 16, 2012: La Constancia´s capacity building programme for Micro and Small Enterprises, "Progresando Juntos" (Growing Together) today is graduating 300 micro and small entrepreneurs within the guideline parameters of its Sustainable Development policy, in the hopes of "Promoting business development in the value chain," and hence promote our quality of life.

ILC´s Progresando Juntos Programme, created to provide support to micro and small entrepreneurs, is the result of the company´s belief in giving priority to the development of the value chain from the clients to the suppliers as a way of promoting development amongst local micro and small enterprises, which constitutes one of the most important sectors within El Salvador´s economy.

"For Industrias La Constancia, this programme represents our commitment to an entrepreneurial vision which involves growing hand in hand with El Salvador, and its development is completely correlated to the country´s sustainable development, under which light we seek to promote corporate development for our business partners which definitely constitutes an invaluable link within our value chain," Aldo Vallejo, Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Industrias La Constancia. 

Progresando Juntos includes two elements:
"Retailer Support" and "Supplier Development""

The Retailer Support part of the programme, which includes stores, cafeterias and pupusa restaurants, is currently well represented by our 300 graduates, and was created in 2010 to be jointly developed with FUNDES. This element´s main goal is to strengthen management skills of retail store and small restaurant owners within San Salvador´s metropolitan area.

The programme, which lasts 8 months, provides assistance, training, and even a component of responsible consumption, as well as a module specifically dedicated to promoting and imbedding in people´s minds the ban of alcoholic beverages to underage people (in stores, cafeterias and pupusa restaurants). Most of the participants are women, single mothers, and even senior citizens, who in most cases consider these types of businesses as a perfect means to earn their family income when faced with a lack of employment opportunities, or simply due to their entrepreneurial spirit and their eagerness to help and provide for their families.

This programme is developed in 3 phases: Awareness, Advice, and Training.

Also to be duly noted, the programme´s coverage oriented towards "Supplier Development" was created in 2011, with the backup and guidance of the Salvadoran Chamber of Commerce and Industry´s Supplier Development Programme (PDP in Spanish), in alliance with UNDP and IDB.

To date, 10 businesses which supply MSEs are selected yearly by the programme for capacity building training, in the hopes of helping them implement systems which will help them significantly improve their performance, thus attempting to create more efficient value chains as a direct result of the implementation of these innovative management enhancement techniques.

The 309 entrepreneurs graduating today are the second graduating class of the Progresando Juntos Programme aimed at store and cafeteria retailers. In 2011, the graduating class was made up of only 67 micro and small enterprises.

Amongst the direct benefits these entrepreneurs are receiving are: between 5% and 35% more on their overall sales profit margins, a 13.5% average of stronger business results (a wider assortment of products, better running of purchase volumes, a decrease in expired products, a healthy portfolio of accounts receivable and payable), an increase in employment stability and the generation of new jobs.

Amongst the programme´s goals are: the annual increase of the scope of participating entrepreneurs as well as a boost in the programme´s coverage in the western and eastern regions of the country in order to inject new energy into the national economy as part of the efforts to strengthen the MSEs which make up ILC´s value chain.
Progresando Juntos is ILC´s bet to help strengthen their MSEs and jointly work with them in order to promote and encourage the revitalization of the Salvadoran economy.

This is a SABMiller subsidiary news release, it was first published in its local market on [16/05/2012].

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