Costa Rica’s first incubation programme focused on the generation and consolidation of sustainable tourism ventures in indigenous territories.

Delve into the unique programme tailored for indigenous individuals with entrepreneurial aspirations, providing them with a platform to present sustainable business ideas that promote biodiversity conservation and sustainable practices.

Tourism transformation

Raíces is currently executed under the leadership of the Comisión Nacional para la Gestión de la Biodiversidad (CONAGEBIO), Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía (MINAE), Mesa Nacional Indígena (MNICR) and United Nations Development Programme’s Biodiversity Finance Initative (BIOFIN); with the support of Sistema Banca para el Desarrollo (SBD), its operating agency Impact Hub San José, Instituto Nacional de Turismo (ICT), Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje (INA) and the Ministerio de Trabajo y Seguridad Social (MTSS).


As Costa Rica’s pioneering programme, Raíces is dedicated to cultivating and consolidating sustainable tourism enterprises within indigenous territories. Their noble mission revolves around nurturing local sustainable tourism development, supporting entrepreneurial initiatives to evolve into successful, self-sustaining ventures. These enterprises play a pivotal role in fostering community, regional, and national growth while preserving the invaluable treasures of biodiversity, cultural heritage, and gender equality.


Embracing the powerful synergy of entrepreneurship and conservation, Raíces inspires a positive ripple effect that encourages others to embark on similar journeys towards a more sustainable and promising future.

Growth from the ground up

This programme seeks to support innovative concepts in their seed stage or nurturing nascent business initiatives at an early stage. The aim is to empower these entrepreneurial endeavours that are either in the ideation phase or have recently taken shape, with the potential for further development to yield marketable and profitable products or services.


The solutions or ideas the programme seeks are tailored for the dynamic tourism sector, encompassing a wide spectrum of offerings such as lodging, transportation, recreational activities, gastronomy, and other tourism-related experiences. We define tourism as the journeys and stays that individuals undertake beyond their usual surroundings, driven by leisure, business, or various other motivations.


The programme is specifically designed to support indigenous entrepreneurs who possess a deep-rooted commitment to sustainability and hold visionary business ideas. These ideas are characterised by a profound ethos of balance and respect for nature, resulting in a positive environmental footprint. 


By championing the conservation and sustainable utilisation of biodiversity, we aim to bridge historical gaps that have left vulnerable populations marginalised. The goal is to maximise social impact and directly contribute to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals while fostering entrepreneurship within indigenous communities.

Programmatic components

The 6-month hybrid programme (face-to-face and virtual) engages with a carefully selected cohort of enterprises operating in the tourism sector. To be eligible, these enterprises must originate from one of the seven indigenous territories located within the Buenos Aires region of Puntarenas and Pérez Zeledón. 


The programme encompasses various stages of support for these enterprises, including incubation to build their business models and prototype development plans, managing financing to prepare them for seed funding, and prototyping to implement and validate their development plans.

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