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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Business > New site promotes global crowd funding for Mexican businesses that preserve cultural heritage

New site promotes global crowd funding for Mexican businesses that preserve cultural heritage

LatinaLista — Over the last ten years, microlending — ordinary people donating small amounts to struggling entrepreneurs in other countries — has taken off, especially because of the Internet.
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Microlending organizations like KIVA or the Chiapas Project have utilized the Internet to connect donors with the entrepreneurs. Traditionally, the microlending organizations have acted as the intermediary between the donor and the entrepreneur.
But now a new site cuts out the middle man.
Dubbed Human Heritage, the Mexico-based site recently launched and combines microlending with crowd funding by hosting a web site and uploading YouTube and Vimeo videos of the entrepreneurs explaining their businesses.
There’s only one catch.
Not just any business can become a part of the Human Heritage list of projects. Since the organization is affiliated with UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage, each project must be something that preserves the cultural heritage of Mexico.
So far, some of the entrepreneurs asking to be funded have businesses that range from creating a Mexican paper balloon league, an artisan who wants to buy a pottery oven to keep the young girls in her town employed and stop them from getting pregnant or coming to the U.S. illegally in search of work and various indigenous groups who want to preserve their language, tapestry skills and dances for posterity.
Each project has only 90 days to raise their money. If after 90 days, the goal hasn’t been reached, the project is taken down from the site and money returned to donors.
However, not all is lost. Human Heritage administrators then work with the entrepreneurs to see how they can help make the business proposals more attractive for investments.
(Editor’s note: A video from one of the Human Heritage entrepreneurs can be found on the Latina Lista Network.)

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