The Sociopreneur Initiative

Innovation… is seldom the product of a single individual’s intellectual brilliance. Innovation is the product of the connection between individuals and their ideas” (Gary Hamel).

The same idea applies when looking for solutions for bottlenecks affecting children against the backdrop of a booming tourism sector in Nicaragua. To respond to these complexities, UNICEF Nicaragua is launching the Sociopreneur Initiative.

Sociopreneur is an innovative collaborative initiative that invites a wide range of actors (public, private, local, global) to brainstorm solutions and use social entrepreneurship to solve problems affecting children.


  • From Oct 2013
  • Up Dec 2014
  • Stage Piloto
  • Reto: #primeras72horas
  • Place Managua

General Description

Understanding Tola’s social fabric. The Sociopreneur Initiative kicked off in full gear in October 2013. Under the leadership of the international team from Policy Lab, close to 300 people were consulted using Human Centered Design techniques. The goal was simple yet ambitious: to fully understand the social fabric of the municipality of Tola.

Entrepreneurship: a collective endeavor. Two things became clear about Tola. First, social entrepreneurship is not an individual effort. Rather it’s a collective endeavor with the capacity to bring value to both child rights and a responsible tourism model. Today, Tola entrepreneurs are invisible and they lack of connections with key actors (“authorizers”) who can bring them advice, self-confidence, expertise and financial support.


Create an entrepreneurial ecosystem: Tola Conecta. As a result of this situation, entrepreneurs and people with authority need to come together, so that the authorizing environment can act as a support mechanism for local entrepreneurs. In other words, to work and be sustainable, the Sociopreneur Initiative needs a social platform that supports the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The idea of a social platform named “Tola Conecta” quickly emerged to fill the gap. Tola Conecta serves as support enabling system led by the community with a challenging task ahead.

First, it will develop a tourism model where the community selects the kind of tourist it wants. In other words, what kind of tourist does Tola want? To this end, it needs to create a framework of incentives (and constraints) that may influence the flux of tourists that come to Tola.

At the same time, Tola Conecta will also take advantage of volunteer tourism opportunities. By matching what local entrepreneurs need and what volunteering opportunities tourists can offer, the platform increase tourism activity through positive experiences that simultaneously create value for child development and a responsible tourism. The goal is to set up a volunteer tourism model that responds to the demands of the community and not the other way around.

Tola Conecta will also be the main driver behind the development of the Friends of Tola Network. These are the external entrepreneurs, supporters, like-minded stakeholders interested in supporting, coaching or mentoring local entrepreneurs kick-start their social business for children, particularly in disseminating new technologies and know-how.

Tola Conecta will be the main hub to disseminate success stories and good practices both inside and outside the community. It will also play a key role in changing existing social beliefs from the current ‘you-can’t’ mentality to ‘try it out, I’m here for you!’

Tola Conecta should try to set up a reinsurance system that supports alternatives for people without credit history(e.g. writing letters of warranty, qualifying agencies, etc). Successful local entrepreneurs can then act as reinsurers to new projects/entrepreneurs, replicating the process and ensuring sustainability.


Natalia Adler , Social Policy Chief, UNICEF Nicaragua ( )
María Gabriela Martínez, Social Policy Assistant, UNICEF Nicaragua
( )
Milja Laakso, Social Policy Officer, UNICEF Nicaragua ( )


Mukul is the first luxury boutique hotel and spa in Nicaragua, found in Guacalito de la Isla, a new $250-million, 1,670-acre low-density private beach community on Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast. Mukul and Guacalito de la Isla are the vision of prominent Nicaraguan entrepreneur and philanthropist, Don Carlos Pellas. Mukul features 37 spacious accommodations, each with an ocean view, pool and private staff. Other resort amenities include Spa Mukul, with six private spa-treatment casitas; a beach club featuring dining and lounge areas and a swimming pool; and the 18-hole Guacalito Golf Course, designed by renowned architect, David McLay Kidd, named the “hottest architect in golf” by Golf World. Guests can explore customized experiences and activities that introduce them to Nicaragua’s nature, culture and people.

Mukul is member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
Contact: Claudia Silva, Marketing and PR Director, Mukul Beach Golf & Spa ( )


Official launch of the partnership

On 19 August, 2013, Representatives from Mukul Beach & Spa and UNICEF Nicaragua met with the press to launch the Sociopreneur Initiative in Managua, Nicaragua. The initiative entitled, Sociopreneur, seeks ...

MUKUL and UNICEF launch Tola Conecta for a responsible tourism

Tola Conecta is a community social platform created in the setting of the Sociopreneur Initiative, which outlines the creation of a model of responsible tourism focusing on children’s well-being through ...

Sociopreneur: to promote social entrepreneurship for child rights

The initiative entitled, Sociopreneur, seeks to create a new model of responsible tourism for children while bringing socioeconomic development to communities. MANAGUA, 19 August 2013.– Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa ...

Iniciativa Sociopreneur analiza la situación de la niñez en Tola, Rivas

Managua.- Fruto de la primera fase de la Iniciativa Sociopreneur, alianza entre Mukul Beach, Golf & Spa y el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia (UNICEF), se han ...

American College y UNICEF promueven emprendedurismo colaborativo en Tola

El Sociopreneur Fellowship, consiste en un programa de becas que promueve soluciones colaborativas entre estudiantes y emprendedores sociales en Tola, a fin de fomentar un modelo de turismo responsable que ...


Iniciativa Sociopreneur


Sociopreneur Initiative (brochure)

Sociopreneurs are generous, visionary and innovative local leaders who have chosen to invest with both their hearts and minds to create value for children. Mukul and UNICEF have joined forces in a unique alliance, creating a new model of responsible tourism for children, where sociopreneurs lead.

Get involved


UNICEF share challenges and projects to enable knowledge sharing and collaboration in
support of innovation for children.

See website

UNICEF Nicaragua

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