The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has teamed up with nine multinational companies, including Google, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft, to empower more than 100,000 female entrepreneurs in the Americas with digital and management skills.
On their part, the nine companies will coach, connect, and certify women entrepreneurs, in addition to handling different roles and responsibilities.
MasterCard, for example, will help entrepreneurs explore mobile payment systems, while IBM will train them in using information technology.
They will also promote the participation of women-led businesses in regional and global value chains, facilitate procurement opportunities, increase their participation in business forums, and promote training programs for certification of their products, services, or processes.
“Women entrepreneurs have great potential to contribute to the dynamism of our economies, employment creation, and the prosperity of our region,” IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno said in a press release.
“What we are looking for with this campaign is to work hand in hand with the business community to multiply the impact of our initiatives and achieve this ambitious goal.”
The empowerment program is part of the IDB’s initiative ConnectAmericas, launched two years ago.
“To date, 59,000 women entrepreneurs have signed up,” says the bank, adding that more than 22,000 have received training and participated in business forums.
Moreno has long been batting for the promotion of women in the business world, arguing that women are more loyal to financial institutions, and that they are very good at paying their debts.
Empowering women, Moreno says, will go a long way in strengthening the economy of the region.
Around 75% female entrepreneurs in the region operate in consumer sectors, many running small subsistence shops, according to the World Bank.