David Placer

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: From Refugees to EntrepreneursSpain

David Placer is a Venezuelan journalist who has been living in Madrid for over 20 years. He has worked extensively covering social and economic issues. He has written two investigative books on the Venezuelan regime and has been awarded the Miguel Otero Silva Journalism Prize. He focuses on migration topics and, since the pandemic, has been creating content for his social media platforms. He writes for the newspaper El Confidencial in Spain and has a YouTube program called "Venezolanos por el mundo" (Venezuelans Around the World), where he travels to share the stories of Venezuelan refugees and migrants worldwide.

IVLP Impact Award Project: From Refugees to Entrepreneurs 

The project provided tools for immigrants who arrived in Spain seeking refuge and asylum and empowered them to become entrepreneurs and start creating jobs and wealth in their communities. The number of asylum seekers has surged in Spain in recent years, and many who arrive in Spain and start a business, or a small venture, have limited knowledge of the economic and social dynamics and the complexities of starting a small business.

This project provided knowledge to refugees who are embarking on a business venture and connected them with successful immigrant entrepreneurs who have established careers, offering mentorship during their early stages. David received 82 video applications from entrepreneur applicants to his program. The 20 semi-finalists were selected by a jury and attended a 2-day conference where they learned from successful immigrant entrepreneurs about topics like digital marketing and were able to network and gain knowledge about how to start and/or grow their own entrepreneurial ventures. In the final stage of the project, 10 selected participants were paired with a successful immigrant entrepreneur to provide business mentorship on a monthly basis from October through January. There have been multiple collaborations that arose from the contacts made between the mentors and participants, like the participant who works giving lettering courses, and was hired by two companies on the jury to make signs for them.

David also moderated the IVLP Impact Awards Alumni Discussion Series panel on “Promoting Economic Prosperity” which you can read more about here.


"I can only express my sincere gratitude to the program for the opportunity it has given me to connect with people and mentors who have been crucial in my development as an entrepreneur. Thanks to your support and guidance...I have been able to put my ideas into practice, which has allowed me to materialize my business and adapt it to a new context... In addition to having profitability as a goal; I have been able to shape a business proposal with value that I believe contributes something unique and positive to the community.” - Project Participant

IVLP Exchange Experience 

David was a participant in the IVLP Project A Global Moment in Time - Peace and Justice, organized by the U.S. Department of State and the Institute of International Education.

David's exchange experience led to the development of his IVLP Impact Award Project: "During my journey to participate in the IVLP program, I encountered several social projects in which assistance was provided to impoverished and resource-limited entrepreneurs in Africa to create wealth in their communities. Despite Spain being a developed country, many refugees experience poverty and vulnerability. Inspired by this, I decided to develop a project aimed at helping those who aspire to leave their shelters, embark on entrepreneurship, and generate employment and wealth."

U.S. Communities Visited

Washington, DC; Miami, FL; Pittsburg, PA

Country: Spain 

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