Meet the team behind SiembraCo!
As COVID continued its rapid spread around the world in the spring of 2020, Columbia’s economy essentially shut down as the country went on lockdown. With this, Columbia's already struggling food system came to the verge of collapsing, with farmers and consumers alike struggling to get the resources they needed to grow food and feed their families.
Amidst this period of uncertainty, a group of friends came together to try to help in any way they could. With their diverse backgrounds in psychology, business, and finance, Yuly, Jason, and Camilo dove into their country’s food system, looking for ways they could make it more efficient for everyone, from the farmers growing food to the families eating it.
After narrowing their focus to small-holder farmers, they concluded lack of access to new technology and consistent financing was holding this group back from succeeding. Because these farmers were facing such turmoil, they were open to trying anything to save their livelihoods, which gave the team a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a difference in the lives of their fellow Columbians.
Thus, SiembraCo was born and the team submitted their idea to the 2021 Hult Prize.
Over the course of their Hult Prize journey, SiembraCo has grown into a full-fledged product being used by small-scale farmers in Columbia. They have pioneered a “Virtual Sewing” model, where consumers or businesses can finance a specific crop to be grown by a farmer. This way, rather than having to go to the few financial institutions they have access to for a loan, farmers can work directly with their communities to grow fresh produce, creating a thriving local system of food production that is much more efficient and resilient to the types of disruptions farmers faced during COVID.
With an investment from Hult Prize in hand, the team continues their hard work and is on track to acquire more clients throughout Columbia and eventually expand throughout Latin America.