INCREA LAB: Opening opportunities to indigenous cultural entrepreneurs

Instituto de Relaciones Internacionales e Investigaciones para la Paz (NGO), Guatemala
IFCD funding: USD 98, 610 | Timeline: June 2013 - July 2014

© Shay Moradi

Developing audiovisual micro-enterprises for indigenous peoples in Guatemala
The project aims to promote indigenous grassroots micro-initiatives in the audiovisual sector, which can contribute to economic development and social cohesion in rural Guatemala.

INCREA LAB is the second phase of a larger programme carried out by Instituto de Relaciones Internacionales e Investigaciones para la Paz (IRIPAZ). In the first phase, IRIPAZ designed and successfully implemented AULA INCREA, a series of introductory audiovisual training courses for young indigenous people. In this second phase INCREA LAB will provide training, coaching and mentoring opportunities for cultural entrepreneurs operating in the audiovisual sector. Among other activities, IRIPAZ will train young indigenous people in the design and management of audiovisual enterprises, create a space for them to develop their business ideas, assess their feasibility and marketability and provide seed funding for the realization of the most innovative proposals.

Project Leader: Instituto de Relaciones Internacionales e Investigaciones para la Paz (IRIPAZ)
Established in 1997, IRIPAZ is a Guatemalan non-governmental organization, whose main goal is to support the Central and Latin American peace processes through human development and culture. It conducts research and develops educational programmes on issues related to this mission. With previous IFCD funding and in partnership with the University of San Carlos (USAC), IRIPAZ established a training centre and designed an audiovisual course for Mayan, Garífuna and Xinca indigenous people who were trained in audiovisual production, script writing, film directing, light and photography, camera work, editing and postproduction skills.

Key targets

  • INCREA LAB, an audiovisual training center based at the local university USAC, will be set up to host training, coaching and mentoring activities to be carried out throughout the project.
  • Training material is designed and capacity building activities are conducted for young cultural entrepreneurs, that half of them are women.
  • The capacities of young cultural industries professionals are reinforced through mentoring and coaching activities, in collaboration with TV Maya and independent professionals in the sector.
  • The business ideas of young cultural entrepreneurs are developed through the provision of seed funding and by providing them with comprehensive support for one year.

Main activities

  • Establishing INCREA LAB as a platform for hosting training, coaching, and mentoring activities and as a creative space for young indigenous cultural entrepreneurs to develop, test, plan and realize business ideas related to their audiovisual productions.
  • Training 35 young cultural entrepreneurs, 20 of them previous Aula INCREA participants, in business administration of technology-based creative enterprises.
  • Facilitating internship opportunities and professional experience for young indigenous people in collaboration with TV Maya, a local public television channel in Guatemala.
  • Providing consulting, mentorship, and seed funding to participants with the most innovative business ideas developed in INCREA LAB, including assistance in designing a business plan, implementing and marketing their ideas.

How does this project contribute to the implementation of the 2005 Convention?

  • Empowers members of disadvantaged communities through the cultural industries: by supporting training, coaching and mentoring efforts in indigenous communities, this project is giving young cultural entrepreneurs tools, resources and a support system that promotes self-esteem, collaboration and social cohesion.
  • Promotes sustainable development and poverty reduction: as the project intends to develop an indigenous-led audiovisual industry in Guatemala, an important number of micro and small cultural enterprises can thrive and as a result, provide other members of the community with employment opportunities and income-generation activities.
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