Carolina Medina is a 28-year-old from Colombia. Her passion is to make healthy food more affordable and accessible for everyone. Carolina co-founded and leads Agruppa, a start-up based in her country that leverages mobile phone technology to organize small businesses.
“I want to contribute to making my country more equitable for everyone,” a conviction which has led Carolina to co-found Agruppa, a start-up that utilizes mobile phones to economically empower small businesses and lower prices for fresh produce. Agruppa organizes small businesses into clusters, creating collective buying power so that they can benefit from economies of scale when ordering stock. This allows vendors to purchase fresher produce at better prices, saving money which can be passed on to the customer. By creating a virtual buying group among vendors, Agruppa purchases wholesale produce directly from farmers, transports it to the city and delivers it to vendors’ shops. This saves them time and money spent on transportation to central markets where they buy produce, and gives them access to wholesale prices. “The ultimate objective is to make healthy food available to everyone, no matter where they live,” says Carolina. “Hunger in our country does not necessarily mean lack of access to food, but lack of access to affordable and nutritious food. And if kids aren’t properly fed, then they cannot go to school and they cannot learn. We feel that everything is connected, and that is my understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals.” Agruppa currently works with more than 180 “mom & pop shops,” and they are adding between 10-15 every week.