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INCAE analyzes the exceptional case of SIFAIS Foundation in La Carpio

January 9th, 2018
susan.fernandez

The social transformation taking place in Cueva del Sapo, a squatter settlement in San José and one of Costa Rica’s most dangerous communities, has drawn the attention of INCAE.

In a project labeled "Music with an Entrepreneurial Soul", INCAE’s Global MBA students will engage in analyzing the pros and cons private entrepreneurs had to evaluate when presented with the opportunity to make a social investment to build a four-story building  there.

After studying for a week the conditions, background, work premises, and philosophy of SIFAIS Foundation as well as the incentives the promoters gave to investors, the students will visit La Carpio and will discuss their advice to entrepreneurs about whether or not to sponsor the construction of the new Torre 3 building, which would be part of the Cuevadeluz Compound.

In the eyes of SIFAIS Foundation president Maris Stella Fernández, this study will recognize the generosity of businesspeople who believed in what she calls a Constructive Revolution. "In my view, this is the best way to thank entrepreneurs who revolutionized social investment. They were led more by inspiration and intuition than by figures in a feasibility study. The effort to build Cuevadeluz involves an impressive change of the investment paradigm, making it an interesting object of study," said Fernández.

Dr. Ryan Schill, Director of INCAE’s RMC Chair of Entrepreneurship, Philanthropy, and Social Investment explained his interest in the case as a result of social transformation taking place in the community, leading to a new perception and a changed landscape in this district formerly devastated by fear and prejudice. "It is key for MBA students to assess the entrepreneurship required to create a project like this, started with only 20 plastic flutes," said Dr. Schill. Then he added, "It is also important for future managers and businesspeople to consider this type of community investment, as the business world must be sensitive to social needs. This is an extraordinary case. In my opinion, this could even be a subject of study at Harvard University."

Some of the investors supporting the project will attend the event. These include Rodrigo Uribe, Luis Javier Castro, Ernesto Castegnaro, Carlos Quirós, Miguel Ramírez, Armando González, André Garnier, Jorge Oller, María José Monge, Jorge Pacheco, Mauricio Bruce, Luis Gamboa, and representatives of Fundameco and the Strachan Foundation. Also through different crowdfunding efforts funds to build were collected. Even before completion the project was awarded the Grand Prize of the Thirteenth International Architecture Biennial, with judges from 40 different countries.

The event will be held in Cuevadeluz on Monday, December 18 at 1:30 pm.