Strengthen the rapid and sustainable development of small rural villages that welcome young families who set up their own businesses

The Welcome to my village program enables underprivileged families to migrate & bring prosperity to small villages & fosters 6 of th 17 SDGs

Photo of Cintia Jaime
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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

ES VICIS Foundation

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Established (the solution has passed the previous stages and demonstrated success)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $1mil - $5mil

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 1,000 - 5,000

Organization type

  • Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector

Secondary Focus Area

  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • Switzerland

Headquarters location: City

CH- 4107 Ettingen, Baselland

Location(s) of impact

Our Pilot Project: Colonia Belgrano, Santa Fe Province, Argentina. Undergoing scale-up with the Argentinean Government (Bs.As & other Prov.)


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Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

The unsustainable rural to urban migration trend leading to the overcrowding of cities & the depopulation of small villages in rural areas. As a result of this migration trend, small villages are failing to grow and are disappearing. Although they have the potential for social & economic development they don’t know how to identify nor exploit these opportunities. Mass migration to big cities leaves migrants trapped in a circle of poverty. According to UN city population will grow from 55% today, to 85% by 2030.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

ES VICIS uncovers concrete business opportunities in a small village & its surrounding region, & identifies & selects underprivileged young entrepreneurial families living in big cities who can set up a business to cover these needs, thereby alleviating pressure on overpopulated cities. "Welcome to my village" program offers families training, guidance & concessional financing to self-build their homes & develop/formalize their businesses & offers support in the migration & integration process. The program builds capacity within the community to promote sustainable development by offering training to local entrepreneurs to develop/formalize their businesses, & most importantly, by jointly with host community members & migrant families in the development of social projects (“My Village 2030” program). The program Welcome to my village improves the quality of life of the migrant families while fostering the sustainable growth of the community. It is scalable & replicable.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

1) 20.000 families expressed interest in the program. 20 were selected 2) 26 entrepreneurs received training for the development & formalization of their businesses 3) 20 migrant families are currently building their homes after having received training, guidance & c. financing 4) The businesses of 16 of the 20 families have been set up & are running 5) 8 families have already moved to the village while the others are in the process of moving. 20 children migrated, 17 are attending school in the village & taking part in local activities 6) Baseline Income Indicator for future measurements 7) The Social House Prototype was updated to include sustainable & environmental features 8) 42 person, approx. 4% of the village population, are taking part in the implementation of the program “CB 2030" 9) 4 committees address environ. & social challenges 10) Undergoing scale-up with the Arg. Govern 11) International: BBC news - Invitations from UN & WRF. Ashoka nomination, Zurich

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

The implementation of the FULL SCALE MODEL IN A COUNTRY required funding for 3 different phases. Country: Argentina 1) PRE-FEASIBILITY (CHF 0.2 M): Civil society: 100% 2) PILOT VILLAGE (CHF 2.1 M): Local Government (concessional funding for the plots of land & construction materials): 58% Civil Society (implementation of pilot by ES VICIS & local NGOs) : 18% Private funds (housing model): 1% Local Credit Association: 10% Financial needs: 13% 3) SCALE UP & EXIT PHASE: under development in conjunction with the national government. Key supporters include the Government, Utrecht Univ., & NGO's Sustainability: the development of businesses responds to an existing demand. In addition, the Congress of Argentina presented a petition to declare the program of National Interest.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

Our program is innovative because it goes beyond the efforts undertaken so far to address overpopulation problems in cities & rural depopulation; we work on the root causes of migration. It identifies actual business opportunities as the basis for identifying entrepreneurial families who can migrate to the village & fulfill these needs (sustainability). The EU seeks solutions to rural depopulation by establishing asylum programs, which are not necessarily sound from a financial point of view.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

Working with an association of entrepreneurs in a slum near the centre of Buenos Aires, we realized a band-aid approach could not mitigate the problems (water contamination, lack of sanitary facilities, overcrowded living spaces, insecurity etc. etc.). At the same time, rural villages were disappearing. I was puzzled why in spite of the terrible living conditions, new families continued to arrive. When I asked them why, the majority clearly expressed their readiness to live wherever they could find work. Their answers were at the root of the “Welcome to my village” program & the planned migration. To move from the idea to an implementable solution required intensive consultations with experts to work out details of the program. With my partner & founder of ES VICIS, NGO experts from Contribuir & Vivienda Digna & a large number of volunteers we developed this step-by-step solution.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Ashoka page or contact

Attachments (1)


The program "Welcome to my village" offers sustainable development into the future through the program “My Village 2030”. This visual PDF shows impressions and bullet points of the most important topics addressed by 42 village inhabitants (4.2%) taking part in the implementation of the program “Colonia Belgrano 2030". The workshops were developed with professional coaching. After the 2nd workshop, 4 committees were created to address environmental and social challenges in Colonia Belgrano.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Jonathan Litscher

Hi Isabelle, congratulations on your initiative, great to see you are tackling the root causes of unsustainable migration to cities. Your focus on entrepreneurship is very promising. After all, economic opportunities have always been key in persuading people to live in any place! Wishing you all the best for your project.

Photo of Cintia Jaime

Dear Johnatan

Vielen Dank :-) for your encouraging words. I truly believe that also your global farmers market proposition deserves the best. Economic growth along with community development are good partners for sustainability! All the best!

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