Gran Tierra contributes to local, regional and national economic development in Colombia and Ecuador in many ways, including through taxes, royalties, jobs, local procurement of supplies and services, social investments, training and education programs and voluntary social and environmental programs.

In South America, the regions where energy resources are concentrated are often the most in need of sustained economic development. In addition to developing oil resources responsibly, Gran Tierra creates opportunities for employment, education, entrepreneurship and self-reliance.

The below projects show how GTE’s strategic investments are focused on creating opportunities and generating income and how this work is developing our neighbours, their businesses and is changing lives in the regions where we work.

Gran Tierra’s Key Partners Program
GTE’s successful Key Partners program has evolved from a simple award given to the best performing vendors into an integrated, multi-stage program with five components. This program has led to tremendous growth in the capabilities, capacity and competitiveness of vendors in the areas where the company operates. Components of Key Partners Gran Tierra’s Commitment to our Key […]
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Putting Local Businesses First
GTE continues to increase opportunities for local contractors and suppliers through a strategy focusing on putting local companies first to meet its needs for goods and services, only expanding its search beyond the locality if no qualified providers are available. Local vendors are an important driver of regional economies, as GTE’s contributions circulate well beyond […]
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Gran Tierra’s Emprender+ Program
Emprender+, GTE’s signature entrepreneurship-based social investment project, is a critical component of GTE’s efforts to address local economic challenges to lift people out of poverty. For the last several years, the program has created opportunities for people to strengthen their businesses and launch new companies while bolstering local economies in Colombia’s Middle Magdalena Valley and […]
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Agroemprende Cacao – Creating Markets for Local Farmers
After more than 50 years of conflict between the Colombian government and guerrilla forces ended in 2016, creating new, legal economic opportunities was essential to maintaining the peace effort. The cacao industry was identified as a significant opportunity because it offers a legal alternative to the many farmers who grow illicit coca. Colombia produces a […]
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Tax Revenues Directly Developing Local Territories
Works for Taxes (WFT) is a program created by the Colombian government that allows GTE to use up to 50% of its income tax contributions to directly develop and implement local projects that improve livelihoods, support economic development and help stabilize territories most affected by poverty and the previous armed conflict. WFT is also an important component of Colombia’s Territorially Focused Development Programs (PDETs) following the 2016 peace agreement signed between the FARC-EP guerrilla movement and the Colombian government.
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Community Perspectives
I don’t know how to read or write, but I know business, numbers and shoes. Emprender+ taught me how to better organize and analyse my business. I hope that someday I can help other entrepreneurs open their own businesses.
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Gran Tierra’s Key Partners Program

GTE’s successful Key Partners program has evolved from a simple award given to the best performing vendors into an integrated, multi-stage program with five components. This program has led to tremendous growth in the capabilities, capacity and competitiveness of vendors in the areas where the company operates.

Components of Key Partners
  • Developing close, beneficial relationships with existing and potential vendors through continuous contact with dedicated company staff. This ensures ongoing dialogue and alignment between vendor and company.
  • Dedicated high-value training offered to managers and owners of vendor companies delivered in partnership with regional Chambers of Commerce.
  • Supply Chain standards that ensure GTE’s contractors are also sourcing from local suppliers.
  • Performance evaluations that measure, recognize and reward 4 outstanding vendors.
  • Facilitating relationships between contractors and local suppliers to foster a growing ecosystem of opportunities for area businesses.
Gran Tierra’s Commitment to our Key Partners
  • Economic Growth
    Gran Tierra Energy promotes free competition as a constitutional right. This encourages local businesses to provide higher quality goods and services not only to our operations, but also to Colombia.
  • Education Development
    Gran Tierra develops educational programs tailored to the needs of our local suppliers. Through these programs we are providing opportunities for educational advancement with well-respected academic institutions.
  • Improved Networking
    We provide our Key Partners with full access to the database for commercial opportunities with Gran Tierra and our contractors.
  • Sustainable Relationships
    Gran Tierra recognizes the importance of sustaining strong relationships with our suppliers and contractors through our Key Partners program. We are always willing to listen and assist our Key Partners.
Members of the Key Partners Program are Expected To:
  • Offer high quality goods and services.
  • Submit competitive proposals, both in price and quality, when invited to bid.
  • Be a collaborative partner with the goal of ensuring that GTE operations are carried out safely and accurately.
  • Respect corporate decisions made by GTE or its contractors.
  • Understand and apply GTE’s human rights and anti-corruption policies in their business practices.
  • Participate in activities developed by GTE aimed at strengthening business skills.
“The training that is part of Key Partners has been really helpful for us not only for the work we are doing with GTE but with other clients that we’ve been able to attract. We now have a broader client base because we’re able to show our expanded technical and management capacity.”

Putting Local Businesses First

GTE continues to increase opportunities for local contractors and suppliers through a strategy focusing on putting local companies first to meet its needs for goods and services, only expanding its search beyond the locality if no qualified providers are available. Local vendors are an important driver of regional economies, as GTE’s contributions circulate well beyond its direct supply chain.

Providing opportunities for local businesses to participate and evolve with GTE’s operations is a fundamental value. Significant investments have been made in training, education and operations to drive economic growth and build a reliable supply chain through its award-winning Key Partners program.

“GTE’s contributions to our community have made it into an incredible partner for us, and now we are seeing results materialize. Our municipality is stronger as a result of the dialogue, agreements and social endeavours that we have worked on together.”

Gran Tierra’s Emprender+ Program

Emprender+, GTE’s signature entrepreneurship-based social investment project, is a critical component of GTE’s efforts to address local economic challenges to lift people out of poverty. For the last several years, the program has created opportunities for people to strengthen their businesses and launch new companies while bolstering local economies in Colombia’s Middle Magdalena Valley and Putumayo regions.

Emprender+ provides technical training, business management guidance, and seed capital along with recognition for innovative business ideas and execution. The program, carried out in partnership with the World Corporation for Women in Colombia (CMMC), also helps entrepreneurs navigate the technical, administrative and management challenges of operating a small business. The popularity of the program has grown steadily and rapidly from 30 to over 300 participating entrepreneurs since its inception, and over 1,500 people registered to participate since the program started in 2021.

Originally designed for 100 participants, the program was tripled to 350 after receiving over 1,500 applications in 2021. Free online training sessions were created for the additional participants who were unable to join the full program.

For more information on Emprender+ visit the program’s website here.

“The Emprender+ and Hilos de la Tierra programs have had a huge impact. They helped me make the jump and leave behind my fears about starting my own business. Now the ideas are just exploding throughout our whole group because recovering our lost works and culture is critically important.”

Agroemprende Cacao – Creating Markets for Local Farmers

After more than 50 years of conflict between the Colombian government and guerrilla forces ended in 2016, creating new, legal economic opportunities was essential to maintaining the peace effort. The cacao industry was identified as a significant opportunity because it offers a legal alternative to the many farmers who grow illicit coca. Colombia produces a particularly fine grade of cacao (the seeds from which chocolate is made), which is in short supply in world markets.

Agroemprende does this through the development of three key areas of the market chain. The first area is through the strengthening of local farmer cooperative associations, known in Colombia as “local associative enterprises”, in five Putumayo municipalities. These ground-based producer associations will come together to pool their production and will aggregate purchases, storage, and distribution taking advantage of volume discounts and utilizing other economies of scale.

Second, farmer associations are connected to new collection and purchasing points that are managed by producer associations. These collection centres are located strategically among member farms to receive dried cacao beans from association members and neighbouring cacao producers. The centres will not only collect the dried cacao beans, they will also buy the dried beans directly from the farmers and then sell the gathered volumes to large scale buyers and local markets – replacing the role of intermediaries, who usually profit significantly more than the farmers themselves.

Finally, the Agroemprende program will create one large regional cooperative association that gathers and represents local farmer associations. The regional cooperative association increases access to markets and competitiveness for local farmers. Cacao crops are negotiated at a larger economy of scale and will have competitive access to national markets.

“GTE has been a strategic ally to the government of Putumayo in its efforts to support our producers. Successful projects like AgroEmprende are important models that help us attract additional public-private initiatives. The Company’s efforts to develop local infrastructure like roads is connected with its entrepreneurial and agricultural projects, which taken together are very important in territories where development is lagging.”
Project Highlights
  • 400 families will be directly supported through Agroemprende.
  • In 2022, 310 family-owned cacao farms participated, and over 104,700kg of cacao was produced and commercialized.
  • Beneficiaries are from Puerto Asís, Puerto Caicedo, Mocoa, Villagarzón and Puerto Guzmán.
  • Beneficiaries will also see improved economic opportunities through the establishment of agroenvironmental practices, climate-smart agriculture, agroforestry systems, and the implementation of new innovative technologies.
  • The Agroemprende initiative has a specific focus on the empowerment and resilience of women in the cacao business by developing and strengthening their technical capabilities. It also facilitates female access to land tenure so that they can become direct beneficiaries of existing and upcoming programs.
  • In 2022, Putumayo cacao was sold for the first time ever at the Chocoshow, an international exhibition in the city of Bogotá, changing the narrative that Putumayo cacao could not compete with quality standards from other regions.

Tax Revenues Directly Developing Local Territories

Works for Taxes (WFT) is a program created by the Colombian government that allows GTE to use up to 50% of its income tax contributions to directly develop and implement local projects that improve livelihoods, support economic development and help stabilize territories most affected by poverty and the previous armed conflict. WFT is also an important component of Colombia’s Territorially Focused Development Programs (PDETs) following the 2016 peace agreement signed between the FARC-EP guerrilla movement and the Colombian government. The PDETs are a vital tool for rural development and lasting territorial peace that empowers local communities to decide how funds should be invested in their territories.

Through WFT, Gran Tierra Energy has developed four projects targeting improvements of road infrastructure, education and housing in the Putumayo municipalities which experience high rates of poverty and food insecurity. Total investment for GTE’s first four WFT projects were over COP $14.1 billion and 10 more are in development. GTE has provided kitchen equipment including refrigerators, freezers and ovens as well as tables and chairs for 152 school cafeterias through the WFT program. These projects have benefitted over 12,000 students and teachers, supporting increased food security for local students, as the participating schools will now have the ability to store and prepare nutritious food, keeping students in school longer.

Ten new Works for Taxes projects have been identified and will be further developed over the next two years. The projects have been chosen by local communities and in order to seek final approval from the Federal Government, Gran Tierra Energy will invest COP$5,300 million to undertake the technical studies required to make the projects viable. For example, the rural road improvement projects require preliminary base line studies focused on soil, pavement, and will undergo hydraulic testing. For the projects that will see improvements to local school infrastructure, Gran Tierra will fund the development of architectural and structural analyses. Once the projects are approved by the National Government, they will be implemented in the municipalities of Villagarzón, Mocoa, Puerto Asís, Orito and Valle del Guamuez, benefiting more than 22,000 people with a total cost of COP$63,000 million, also to be contributed by Gran Tierra Energy.

“As a rural community, Works for Taxes is so important to keep the benefits here, and allows us to focus on improving our transportation infrastructure. The project has had a huge impact, and we are looking forward to extending this collaboration to continue changing the lives of our people and helping them envision a different future.”

Community Perspectives

“I don’t know how to read or write, but I know business, numbers and shoes. Emprender+ taught me how to better organize and analyse my business. I hope that someday I can help other entrepreneurs open their own businesses.”
“People often simply throw their used cooking oil away which can pollute the water and soil. We wanted to do something that would make a difference, environmentally, socially and healthwise, and that’s where the idea for this business came from. The people at Emprender+ really took me by the hand and dedicated their time to help me understand all the factors that go into the business which was a big reason for our success.”
“When we started with Emprender+ we actually restructured our business model based on a diagnosis that helps us understand and strengthen our weaknesses. When you are an entrepreneur, not only are you motivated by the economic side, but also the social side. We love providing jobs and business opportunities for farmers to earn a living away from illicit crops.”
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