Guatemala lacks small and medium enterprises. SMEs in healthy economies provides employment and opportunities for growth for employees and creates long-term development beyond crisis survival levels. In Guatemala, there are many micro-businesses and even some giant corporations, but the lack of the small to medium enterprise creates a “missing middle” which negatively impacts the national economy. Without this middle range of employment and business sizes, the national economic growth is slow or stunted which impacts individuals, communities and the nation as a whole.
In addition to the missing middle of enterprise size, there is a missing middle in financial services. Financial services in Guatemala tend to focus on microfinance and large corporations, but few resources exist in Guatemala to strengthen and grow small to medium enterprises.
For the Love of Missions has chosen to focus on this size business for our economic development work. We will be supporting entrepreneurship and business as poverty alleviation through business loans and business development.
In July 2016, we gave our first business loan to Javier, a leather and jade artisan. He used the loan to improve the structure of his business environment, purchase industrial machinery and stock up on raw materials.