Engaging with the Leadership of Peru’s LGBT Business Movement

| By Michael Castellano
Peru has a vibrant and thriving economy that has been growing for many years. As a partner country to the Obama administration’s proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and with a GDP of $344 billion annually, Peru presents an attractive business opportunity for Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike. Now, with remarkable advances and leadership within the Peruvian LGBT business community, the Andean country is ready for business with LGBT entrepreneurs.
From February 23 to 27, team NGLCC Global traveled to Peru to work with the leadership of this movement—both with the newly appointed directors of the Peruvian GLBT Chamber of Commerce (CCGLPE) as well as with key corporate partners in Peru’s private sector—and to lay the groundwork for the public launch of CCGLPE and NGLCC’s signature LGBT Summit of the Americas event in May. 
NGLCC Global began helping to build an LGBT business organization in Peru following the in-country evaluation in October of last year. On this recent trip, team NGLCC Global sought to build the capacity of the Peruvian Chamber by holding a training session to share best practices with the CCGLPE Board of Directors. The training took place in Lima at the JW Marriott, NGLCC’s 2014 Corporation of the Year, and offered a unique chance for NGLCC to pass on its experience in this space to foster CCGLPE’s leadership to serve the economic interests of the LGBT community in Peru. El Comercio, one of Peru’s most widely read news publications, covered the event, underscoring the historic nature of the chamber in Peru. In the spirit of the NGLCC, the team worked entirely with registered diverse suppliers and local LGBT and allied businesses for all of the event details, from photography to translation
Following the board meeting and training session, CCGLPE and NGLCC Global celebrated alongside other members of the Peruvian LGBT and allied community in a reception at La Trastienda, a restaurant owned by openly-gay Peruvian congressman and ally to NGLCC, Carlos Bruce. Congressman Bruce, who is currently championing civil union legislation for same-sex couples in Peru, delivered opening remarks and offered his support for CCGLPE’s efforts before facing off in a public debate later that evening. With this bill, Peru could very well see the legalization of same-sex civil unions by the end of March 2015.
In addition to engaging with the local LGBT leadership, team NGLCC Global facilitated a roundtable with major players in Peru’s private sector. The Corporate Roundtable, hosted by NGLCC Founding Corporate Partner IBM at its Lima office, was a tremendous success, convening representatives from corporate procurement and human resources departments to share honest experiences and best practices around LGBT diversity and inclusion. Other corporate allies at the table included Marriott International, Pfizer, Delta Airlines, and Cisco. This list is not surprising, as these corporations have been some of the most innovative and progressive companies worldwide and true leaders in this movement for diversity both in Peru and around the world.
Last week’s events and NGLCC’s partnership with CCGLPE are merely the beginning of what will be a long and fruitful relationship between the two organizations and two countries. On May 28 and 29, with CCGLPE’s official public launch and NGLCC’s LGBT Summit of the America’s event, Peru will finally have an organization to represent the Peruvian LGBT business community and serve as a resource for both LGBTBEs and multi-national corporations who wish to do business with Peru.