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Evaluation of Alterna’s direct support to ventures


Alterna has over seven years of experience creating their own social ventures from the ideation stage, as well as cultivating hundreds of entrepreneurs and Small and Growing Businesses (SGBs) and developing creative and dynamic spaces to discuss, connect and create at a national and regional level.

Alterna established a partnership with the Argidius Foundation in 2014 to support Alterna’s SME cultivation method, focusing on entrepreneurs and businesses that create social and environmental value in their communities. A second partnership was formed with Argidius for the period 2017-2019.


Between 2017 and 2019 Alterna intends to support at least 610 entrepreneurs and 3 partners with tailored cultivation services across Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Southeast Mexico.

The main expected outcomes are:

  1. A wider, better-served and diversified pipeline of entrepreneurs and SGBs growing, generating deep impact and inspiring their communities.
  2. Innovative mindsets, companies and relationships fostered at a regional level through a more integrated approach in the region.
  3. Innovative mechanisms and schemes created, articulated and activated to address key challenges for local entrepreneurs and SGBs.
  4. Internally, Alterna becomes even more resilient, capable of attracting consistent and reliable sources of funding, and recruiting and retaining top talent.

Our role

Itad has been appointed to conduct an independent evaluation of Alterna 2017-2019. The purpose of the assessment is to gain an insight into the nature and magnitude of the direct and indirect effects on SGBs that can be attributed to Alterna and the factors that have positively and negatively influenced results.

The overall objective is to provide a set of recommendations and lessons that will enhance Alterna’s services, strengthen Alterna’s internal monitoring and impact management processes and contribute to the sector-wide evidence base on what works in the provision of business development services (BDS).

Our approach

Itad is currently in the inception stage of this evaluation and has conducted an assessment of Alterna’s monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) system to establish the types of data being collected as well as reviewing the data collection tools, platforms and resources used.

Itad completed a field visit to conduct an evaluability assessment of the Alterna program, gathering material to inform the design of the evaluation.


Image: istock/helovi