Costa Rica busca empresas sociales para alcanzar los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible

Costa Rica busca empresas sociales para alcanzar los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible

Les compartimos un artículo publicado en la página web de Social Enterprise UK (, organización que agrupa la mayor parte de empresas sociales en Gran Bretaña. En el marco del Proyecto de Organizaciones Sociales Exportadoras, en cual participa Coopecañera desde Agosto 2015, con el apoyo de la Federación de Organizaciones Sociales de Costa Rica (FOS) y la Embajada Británica.


Costa Rica looks to social enterprise to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

As a part of the British Embassy programme ‘Exporting Social Enterprises’, in February 2016 Social Enterprise UK traveled to San Jose to represent the UK social enterprise sector in Costa Rica. The week included conferences, meetings with government, press, charities and social enterprises to discuss the opportunities for the model in the Central American country.

With 70,000 social enterprises, employing 1 million people and generating £24 billion for the UK economy, countries around the world are looking to learn from the experiences and challenges of the UK social enterprise sector.

Costa Rica is now ranked as an upper middle income country by the World Bank, and as a consequence international aid organisations have moved their support to other countries in the region in recent years.  However, it is still facing a 21% poverty rate, so its previously well-supported NGO sector is now looking to new sources of sustainable income. The social enterprise model is one answer that can help the country achieve its targets for the Sustainable Development Goals. Run by the Federacion de Organizaciones Sociales (FOS), with support from government departments PRCOMER and COMEX, the project aims to enable social enterprises to prepare for exporting goods around the world, while maximising their social impact at home to help solve some of the key challenges facing Costa Rica today.

“We are delighted to see the growing involvement of Costa Rica in social enterprise through FOS. Supporting social enterprises has the potential to help re-inject life into local communities across the country, create opportunities and local wealth, and change lives for the better.” Peter Holbrook, CEO of Social Enterprise UK

President of FOS, Javier Sandoval explained that “The visit from the representative from Social Enterprise UK, Anne Salter, gave us the opportunity to promote the success of, and need for, social enterprises in Costa Rica. It allowed us to discuss how NGOs can adapt their organisations to become more sustainable and enabled us to give them the tools and know how to make the model work for them.”

Social enterprises in Costa Rica are just as varied as those in the UK, from nutrient enriched food products from Nutrivida to Fairtrade sugar and coffee producersCoopecañera and Apoya. There are many opportunities for UK companies to trade with Costa Rica, if you are looking to make links please contact

For more information about how the social enterprise model can help countries around the world achieve their SDG targets read the recent report from SEUK and the British Council, Think Global, Trade social.

By Anne Salter

Anne Salter represented SEUK in Costa Rica, pictured here with British Ambassador to Costa Rica Ross Denny and , Federacion de Organizaciones Sociales Costa Rica representative Marco Vinicio Villegas

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