Action Research - Social Network Analysis

By analysing social networks, we can identify and improve the dynamics of social groups. If applied to entrepreneurship ecosystems, this translates to actively linking actors and creating collaboration mechanisms that could facilitate the interaction and development of local entrepreneurial communities. The Guatemalan entrepreneurship ecosystem is fragmented and has difficulties in collaborating and coordinating with its members, which often leaves entrepreneurs adrift. As in most Latin American countries, start-ups in Guatemala are built on relationships and connections. The value chain does not begin with the what, but with the who. This disconnect, coupled with social and economic factors, is why the failure rate of local ventures is over 90%. Additionally, most companies created in the country are classified as a type of "sustenance employment" or self-employment, with little or no growth potential.
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Project duration
2019 - 2022
Financed by
  • Argidius Foundation

The project

Instead of strengthening or creating new market players, the Action Research SNA project uses social network analysis (SNA) to create new ways to bolster the existing entrepreneurial ecosystem. This is being done through pilot programs that validate the tools and interventions which are being implemented and led by local champions, which requires a flexible and adaptive approach. The strengthening of entrepreneurial ecosystems improves the conditions to develop ventures, which in turn facilitates the creation of profitable companies that have potential to grow.

The project benefits entrepreneurship support organisations and entrepreneurs from Guatemala City (that have existing businesses with the potential to generate employment.)


Co-creating and validating tools and interventions to address the flaws of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.


  • Organisation of investment workshops to link the local ecosystem with international actors and promote exchange and collaboration among investors.
  • Organisation and implementation of the Ecosystem Acceleration Program, a virtual laboratory for co-creating solutions for the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • Generation of content and promotion of ecosystem actors through the Startup Guatemala platform.


  • Invariantes Fund
  • Sierra Capital
  • Multiverse
  • Gestlá
  • Yuxtem
  • Mom Business University
  • Wonder Woman
  • Grupo Tikva
  • CME
  • Technoserve
  • Cacao Capital
  • Paynexus
  • Tu Consejería
  • Afinidata
  • BS Legalis
  • Grupo TOA
  • TGB Consulting
  • URL
  • UVG
  • UFM


Co-created interventions to date

  • Female founders coalition, a group of female entrepreneurs with established companies that promote collaboration, support and interchanges that promote women-led companies in the country.
  • Campaign "Success has many shapes", which promotes diverse and inclusive role models in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and also discusses the challenges and opportunities of entrepreneurship in Guatemala.
  • CAPCA, an association of investors whose purpose is to promote collaboration and interchanges among investors and to stimulate education and the dissemination of information, as well as best practices on issues of investment of venture capital.
  • Map of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, a booklet detailing the different services that are offered and resources available to entrepreneurs in the ecosystem.
  • Ecosystem acceleration program, a virtual laboratory where ecosystem actors can collaborate and exchange ideas to create solutions to the most relevant problems of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • Report of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, a detailed snapshot of the observations and data collected throughout the implementation of the project during 2019-2020, with recommendations for the actors of the ecosystem.
  • Startup Guatemala / Startkit, a platform that consolidates information and resources of the local ecosystem that also promotes and links stakeholders in a neutral way.

2019 achievementes

  • 80+ organisations involved in the project.
  • Publication of reports and a systematic mapping of services offered in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • 40+ events and coordination venues were held for actors of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Generating connections in a workshop
Identifying gaps with ecosystem actors
The Female Founders Coalition
Discussing how to systematise service offerings in the entrepreneurial ecosystem


Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Mapping the Guatemalan Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
Building a vibrant environment for an ecosystem to thrive can only be achieved by having open conversations about its state and culture. A recent report takes a closer look at the entrepreneurial community in Guatemala in 2020 in an effort to expose the dynamics of the system and provide recommendations for ecosystem players. The data for this analysis is based on workshops, interviews, polls and collaboration programs with over 80 ecosystem support organisations.