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BELTRAIDE to help women entrepreneurs gain economic autonomy

BELTRIADE, through its SBDC Belize Unit is holding a workshop to assist women entrepreneurs to gain economic autonomy through a specialized methodology of services. Nilda Riverol, Manager of the SBDC Belize tells us more about the work.

Nilda Riverol, Manager of the SBDC Belize: We have representatives from the Commission for the promotion of Micro Small Medium Enterprises Conamipe from El Salvador as well as representatives from the Central American center for the promotion of Micro Small Medium Enterprises transferring a methodology of our specialized services for women. The specialized services for women entails different interventions at different stages for Dynamic Enterprises being led by women. What does that mean? You come to us to the center and require a service to grow your business frame for instance. The specialized methodology that we are going to be their transferring this week entails us providing the interventions that meet the needs of women outside of the business development component. A lot of times we provide services at the center for instance where we generalize the intervention. In this case it is very specialized and it incorporates looking at different aspects of providing services to women so that we can be able to take their business venture to the next level and create at the same time that economic autonomy and empowerment that we want to accomplish in women.

Dalilah Ical: Why is this a focus on businesses led by women in particularly?

Nilda Riverol, Manager of the SBDC Belize: Gender inclusivity is one of the goals that is being advocated for at regional level as well as at the National level. We believe inclusive financing, inclusive opportunities across gender so that is our focus. We are aiming to empower more women and to encourage them to seek opportunities and to take advantage of opportunities so it’s actually the goal is us focusing on creating that equal opportunity for both. The methodology itself is designed for women and we want to see the impact that can be generated from that to see what percentage of women we can integrate more into the economic opportunities that exist.

The objective of the workshop is for support organizations to adapt and replicate the women entrepreneurship model, in order to promote the economic autonomy of women, with a focus on dynamic enterprises in the SICA region. Paolo Sorto, Gender technical advisor at CENPROMYPE says the methodology has been tested in El Salvador with good results.

Paolo Sorto, Gender technical advisor at CENPROMYPE: This service focuses beyond entrepreneurship and looks at fundamental elements for the economic autonomy of women. Definitely women who have accessed this service show impacts in their businesses and in their personal lives. They have been empowered to make decisions at the business and personal levels. Their self-empowerment and their self-esteem. And that is thanks to an ecosystem that has been developed, an ecosystem for women entrepreneurship where we integrate different elements like the national institutes of women and others that support the economic autonomy of women.  We bring a proposal for a specific profile meaning what kind of women we will be working with. But that will be developed in each country and each product. It will be at the definition of the profile of the Belizean woman who will be able to access this service and depending on the socio economic characteristics of the Belizean population. That is how it has been done in other countries as well.

Belize is the third country to adopt the methodology. Presentations began in Guatemala and Panama and will move on to Honduras, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. In Belize, the transfer process will conclude with the implementation of the women entrepreneurship service from August to October 2018.