Cartier Women's Initiative Awards 2017: Carolina Medina Finalist from Latin America

In Colombia, around 340,000 Mom-and-Pop (M&P) shops supply 70% of the food consumed in low-income neighbourhoods, making them the gatekeepers of what people in their communities eat. These shops face a major challenge because they cannot access produce at wholesale prices and spend on average 15 hours a week and 20% of their income on transportation to buy produce from retail markets.

Founded in 2014 by Carolina Medina and Verena Liedgens, Agruppa is a social, tech and logistics business that aims to solve this inefficiency by leveraging mobile technology to create a virtual buying group among M&P shops in low-income neighbourhoods, aggregating their demand for fruit and vegetables into daily collective orders and buying in bulk.

Carolina’s passion for food security grew from her time working at the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). The 28-year-old also studied political science for her undergraduate degree and went on to study a master’s degree in international development and humanitarian emergencies at the London School of Economics.

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