Business Overview

Omar Perez is a hard-working and highly motivated farmer, entrepreneur, and community
leader. His dream is to expand his production and turn his farm into a sustainable farm that
generates enough income to provide better education for local farmers and improve the quality of living for his family

Perez Agricultural Venture - Ibedi Guna, Panama

Economic Challenge

Community members in Ibedi Guna lack access to financial resources within the community. The majority of community members do not have bank accounts and there are only limited informal forms of credit available.  For example, a person could obtain ‘credit’ at a local store by buying something now and paying later, simply adding it to their ‘tab,’ but there would be no formalized credit transaction.  Larger financial institutions do not approve loans to community members without a fixed income, making it difficult for local

micro-eenterprises to grow and thrive. Most community members cite the distance to the nearest bank as the main discouragement to having a personal savings account. In order to gain access, members must travel to Torti, a 15-minute bus ride. Even if individuals wish to travel the distance, not all community members can become members of these financial institutions–cooperatives require monthly membership fees, savings accounts often require a fixed income, and cost of travel and the lack of land titles as an indigenous community provide additional barriers.

Business Solution

The Business

Despite the challenges Omar currently faces, his venture has many opportunities. As a founding member and current President of the Ibedi Guna Community Bank, Omar has demonstrated strong leadership skills and his developed his financial literacy skills. While his farm is located far from the town center, his new chicken venture is strategically located next to the Panamerican highway, reducing the cost of logistics to transport his chickens to local markets and restaurants.

Competitive Advantage

Omar has planted nearly 12,000 otoe plants since 2016, using a $100 loan from the Ibedi Guna Community Bank to expand the crop. Since consulting with Global Business Brigade volunteers, Omar has diversified his production to include corn and a chicken coop.

Obstacles

  • Omar’s farm is located several hours from the town center, adding to the logistics and time cost of working the land
  • The supply chain management structure of the venture is inconsistent and uncertain

Business Snapshot

Employees
4

Next Steps

The tasks that Perez Agricultural Venture has prioritized are:

1: Create a new business plan for his chicken coop
2: Calculate his loan payment capacity
3: Create and inventory system to track sales

Business Brigades that have consulted this business:

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Page Last Updated: June 27, 2019