Small businesses in some Latin American and Caribbean countries may benefit from a new initiative launched by the Argidius Foundation and the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE). Argidius works to catalyse economic growth and mitigate poverty in West Africa, Central America and Eastern Europe by supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises and improving the business environment. The Argidius-ANDE Finance Challenge will look for innovative financial solutions for small and growing businesses in emerging markets – more specifically for firms requiring €15,000-€200,000 (US$20,000-$250,000) in start-up capital. Applicant organizations must include at least one of the Argidius Foundation target countries, which include Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Four to six finalists will be awarded grants of around €200,000-€300,000 in August to conduct pilot programmes. A grand prize of €1 million will be awarded in spring 2014 to the most successful pilot.
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