On Thursday, June 9, 2022, Alphabet’s Google announced its commitment to invest $1.2 billion in Latin America. Over the next five years, this money will support economic development and digital transformation in the region. Part of these resources will go to Pro Mujer to help women-led businesses in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. The goal is to give them access to training and microcredit. This will further support Pro Mujer’s efforts across Latin America to provide economic empowerment to women through broader access to financial and digital tools. Pro Mujer joined Vice President Kamala Harris and the Partnership for Central America. Together, they launched In Her Hands, a private sector initiative to empower, train and protect women across the Western Hemisphere.
In Her Hands
This initiative supports the access of more than 1.4 million women and their communities to financial and digital services. It boosts female participation in the agroindustry and in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, training more than 500,000 women and girls. Additionally, this initiative also promotes women’s inclusion in companies across the region. Pro Mujer’s commitment stems from its three decades of experience in increasing financial inclusion and training women entrepreneurs. Founded in 1990 in Bolivia, Pro Mujer is a social enterprise that has expanded its mandate to deliver relevant, transformative tools and resources to women across Latin America.
“Women are authentic agents of change in their communities. They have the potential to increase the economic development of the entire society. We’re thrilled to participate in Vice President Harris’ In Her Hands initiative through its expertise and knowledge. Providing women the tools they need to achieve their potential has been our purpose for 32 years,” said Carmen Correa, CEO of Pro Mujer. “We celebrate this project that aims at closing gender gaps and setting the bases for social and gender equity.”
Call to action
In May 2021, following the Vice President’s Call to Action to address the root causes of migration, Pro Mujer committed to promoting inclusive economic opportunity in the Northern Triangle and in Southeast Mexico. In the last year of Pro Mujer’s involvement in the Partnership for Central America, the social enterprise has:
- Invested $6 million, which has allowed the organization to reach nearly 25,000 individuals with financial inclusion resources, skills-based and entrepreneurship opportunities and health and well-being services.
- Expanded services to Southeast Mexico. There, six out of ten women live in poverty or extreme poverty conditions.
- Opened its first office in Guatemala. There, it increased financial inclusion and professional development opportunities in a country that ranks fourth globally for the highest percentage of women pursuing entrepreneurship (Statista, 2020).
To further support its commitment to bringing access to finance and supporting entrepreneurship, Pro Mujer is developing a Blended Finance Fund with a US $30 million first-round target, and an estimated five-year investment period. The investment focus will be the Missing Middle – micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), often led by women, that are too big for microfinance funding but not big enough for commercial bank funding – in Central America and elsewhere in the region.
Emprende Pro Mujer
Additionally, Pro Mujer created a multi-channel platform, called Emprende Pro Mujer. This will impact the lives of women in Southeast Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. This will allow them to access engaging, customizable educational content aligned with the stage of their business, increasing their networking and mentorship opportunities as part of a regional network of women entrepreneurs.
These initiatives encompass the broad range of work Pro Mujer is developing across the region. For 32 years, the organization helped more than 2 million women. They offered 10 million health services and granted $4.4 billion in credits around Latin America. Pro Mujer leverages this experience to contribute to the Partnership goals of addressing the root causes of migration. This is achieved through a consolidated holistic strategy that promotes economic opportunity for women in Central America
About Pro Mujer
Pro Mujer is a preeminent not-for-profit social enterprise that for 32 years has empowered women in Latin America through a wide variety of services, enabling them to reach their full potential, provide for their families and play a critical role in the economic development of their communities.
Pro Mujer’s work is closely aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They are delivering tangible results in eight SDGs: 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 11 and 16. To learn more about how Pro Mujer is changing the lives of women in Latin America visit www.promujer.org
Want to read more about female entrepreneurs? Check out our article Balancing in the Air: Days in the Lives of Female Entrepreneurs.