Dr. Martin Burt is founder (1985) and CEO of Fundación Paraguaya, a 33-year old social enterprise devoted to the promotion of entrepreneurship and economic empowerment to eliminate poverty around the world. He is a pioneer in applying microfinance, microfranchise, youth entrepreneurship, financial literacy and technical vocational methodologies to address chronic poverty around the world. He has developed one of the world’s first financially self-sufficient agricultural and tourism high schools for the rural poor. He is co-founder of Teach a Man to Fish, a global network based in London (3000 members-150 countries) that promotes “education that pays for itself” and which is partnering with more than 50 organizations from 27 countries to establish self-sufficient schools, mostly in rural areas.
He has also developed the Poverty Stoplight, a new poverty measurement tool and coaching methodology that assists families to self-diagnose their level of multidimensional poverty and develop customized plans to eliminate poverty. This new metric is now being implemented in more than 30 countries, including the US and the UK. Dr. Burt is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship at the World Economic Forum and of the Global Foodbanking Network.
In public service, he has served as Chief of Staff to the President of Paraguay, was elected Mayor of Asunción, and was appointed Vice Minister of Commerce.
Dr. Burt has books published on economics, development, municipal government, poetry, and education and has received numerous awards. He holds a PhD from Tulane University Law School and is a Visiting Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of California, Irvine.
Dr. Martin Burt was born in Asuncion, Paraguay and resides there with his family.
Luis Fernando Sanabria
Luis Fernando Sanabria joined Fundación Paraguaya in 1987 and has been its General Manager since 2008. Luis Fernando holds a law degree from the National University of Asuncion and a Master degree in Business Administration from the Austral University in Buenos Aires. He also studied management at the Golda Meir Institute of Haifa, Israel and has been trained in finance and credit methodologies in numerous workshops, seminars and work-study programs in Latin America.
Luis Fernando has done consulting work for the Inter-American Development Bank, the Avina Foundation, and the United Nations Development Program. On numerous occasions, he has been the counterpart of Accion International in the application of the CAMEL instrument, a comprehensive financial diagnostic tool designed especially for microfinance institutions at Fundación Paraguaya, and he has been an evaluator for Accion International in the application of CAMEL at another local entity.
In a joint Fundacion Paraguaya-Avina Foundation endeavor, Luis Fernando developed the Organizational Development System, a unique system in Paraguay to evaluate development organizations. He is also the founder and first President of the Association of Civil Society Organizations of Paraguay.
In the public sector, Luis Fernando led the Municipality of Asuncion’s Tax Reorganization Program from 1997 and 2001, which allowed the city to double its annual income. Luis Fernando headed the city’s Office of Internal Administration, managing an annual budget of US$ 60 million, and represented the city of Asunción at numerous local and international events.
He holds a degree in Administration and Accounting from the Catholic University of Asunción, and has been trained in Management and Communications, Financial Administration, Strategic Marketing, and Microenterprise and Solidarity Group Programs.
Luis has 25 of work experience at the Fundación Paraguaya. During this time he has also served as coordinator of activities, chief accounting officer, and director of operations in the credit department.
Prior to joining Fundación Paraguaya, Luis worked at USAID in the areas of communications and accounting. In addition, he served as Administrator of Credit and provided technical assistance for Horti-Fruit Producers at the Savings, Loan and Production Central Cooperative.