Business for Transformation

Creating Sustainable and Debt-Free Small Businesses

Business for Transformation is a small-business-creation program  facilitated by Amigos for Christ. Throughout our two decades of experience working in rural communities, we have faced the obstacles of overcoming poverty and the challenges of helping families increase their incomes. Primarily through the 1 Manzana Project, Amigos for Christ invests in small agricultural businesses, with the ultimate goal of creating sustainable and debt-free enterprises that provide employment to local community members.

2021 Goal: Establish 32 diversified and self-sustaining production farms that provide 90 jobs to the local communities.

1 Manzana Project

Empowering Farmers in Rural Nicaragua
Despite having the world’s most fertile volcanic soil, generating a profit from small-scale farming can be nearly impossible in rural Nicaragua. The 1 Manzana Project was created to change that. By investing in irrigation systems, supplying technology to manage the farms, providing technical and financial management assistance, and financing the project in the form of a 5-year line of credit, we are helping to increase a farmer’s profits from his own manzana (around 2 acres) of land. Our goal is that each farmer will be debt-free and providing full-time employment for others in the community.

How it Works

Check out the 4 investments needed to make each farm profitable, along with our step by step process.

See the Current Farms

There are currently 21 farms with 75 manzanas in production. See the map!

Meet a Farmer

Manuel Figeroa has been farming corn his whole life and barely made ends meet. Read how he is now on the path to a profitable farm.

1 Manzana FAQs

Despite having the world’s most fertile volcanic soil, generating a profit from small-scale farming can be nearly impossible in rural Nicaragua. Most rural farmers must take out high interest loans to invest in their farms. Without irrigation systems, farmers must rely on only a few months of rain in the year. If there is a drought, farmers fall deeper into debt. The cycle of poverty and hunger continues. 

The purpose of the 1 Manzana Project is to create small, organic farms that produce $3,000/year in profit by the 6th year and allow the owner to become debt-free in that same time period. By year 10, the farm will produce $6,000/year in profit. This profit is 10 times greater than what a farmer can earn producing corn or any other traditional crop.

The 1 Manzana Project is a way to partner with rural farmers in the communities that we serve by investing in irrigation systems, supplying technology to manage farms, providing technical and financial management assistance through our Community Advocates, and financing the project in the form of a 5-year line of credit for beneficiary farmers. In addition to benefiting Nicaraguan farmers who already own their land, the project is generating significant full-time employment. With a predicted 104 manzanas (182 acres) in production by the end of 2022, 156 jobs will have been created through the project. 

You might remember learning that manzana means “apple.” That is true, however in Nicaragua, a manzana is also a plot of land. One manzana is just about the size of two acres. The rural farmers participating in the 1 Manzana Project typically own several manzanas of land that have been passed down through generations.  

An investment in this project will bring about long-term transformation for a rural farming family. These are a few cost estimates for what it takes to get a farmer set up for year 1: 

  • Water through a solar-powered irrigation system for yearround planting: $2,000 per manzana 
  • Capital to cover planting materials and additional labor: $3,000 per manzana 
  • Technology to manage the business: $500 per manzana 
  • Amigos team member to provide training and expertise: $1,000 per manzana 

1 Manzana Stories of Impact