Boosting enterprises through local capacity building and tailormade support provided by Senior Experts

The project is based on Swisscontact’s Senior Expert Contact (SEC) and focuses on strengthening tailormade support opportunities for entrepreneurs and SMEs that need specific skills and advice to overcome a challenge within their company.
guatemala city, guatemala
Project duration
2020 - 2024
Financed by
  • Argidius Foundation

The project

Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Guatemala contribute 85% of the total employment, but only 35% of the GDP. There are several factors that hinder SMEs in Guatemala from becoming more productive, such as low education levels, lack of access to financing and market information, inadequate business management skills, as well as insufficient support offers for entrepreneurs and SMEs. Improving their performance and increasing their participation in local and global markets can have significant positive consequences for the entire economy.

The main goal is to set up a local expert organisation that advises SMEs and entrepreneurs wanting to grow their business and improve product quality, workflows or working conditions in order to increase their competitiveness in the local market.

To achieve this, the project provides practical and hands-on support based on many years of experience and at an affordable price. The target group are small and medium-sized enterprises who have been operational for at least one year, with between 5 and 300 employees and an annual turnover of up to $ 1 million USD. Through voluntary consultancy services, these SMEs can benefit from the targeted transfer of skills, knowledge, industry insights, and in-person catalytic support.

Project Goals

The project will on the one hand introduce Senior Expert consultancy services in Guatemala through Swisscontact’s Senior Expert Contact, and on the other hand liaise with local stakeholders such as other expert organisations, entrepreneurship accelerators and business associations to facilitate the establishment of a local organisation that manages an expert pool of at least 100 local or regional experts.

  • Catalytic, tailor-made support for SMEs and entrepreneurs
    SEC experts consult SMEs on specific aspects of their business under close supervision by the SEC coordinator. This helps local SMEs to increase their productivity and product quality, as well as to access financing, which are necessary factors enabling them to grow their business and increase their revenue.
  • Develop a local SEC-organisation. The SEC coordinator supports a partner entity in establishing a local SEC organisation, which then manages all SEC activities. These activities include promoting the expert assignments to SMEs and business associations, recruiting experts for the local expert pool, and matching requests for consultancies by SMEs with the available expert profiles in the database. 


Expected results

  • SEC experts support 60 SMEs through 94 individual consultancy assignments
  • Supported SMEs are able to increase their revenue by a cumulative USD 3 million and create 198 additional full-time jobs
  • 100 local experts are recruited by the local partner organisation.