Guatemala has one of the widest gender equity gaps in the world.
It is ranked number 122 out of 156 countries in the 2021 Global Gender Gap Report by the World Economic Forum.
In addition to the gender gap in economic participation, entrepreneurship, and employment, the women who become active economic participants face high institutional and cultural barriers to starting, growing, and sustaining their businesses.
CIPE recently established a Women Business Resource Center (WBRC) named “Corali” in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala to address the lack of economic opportunities for women. The Center is operated in collaboration with a local partner, the Regional Network of Managers Groups (RNGG).
The WBRC methodology is designed to increase the opportunities for women’s active participation and inclusion in the economy by addressing the barriers they face, including access to capital, technology, and business skills.
This model addresses women’s barriers holistically, including a methodology to increase women’s self-confidence, which is impacted by domestic violence and discrimination faced in their households and communities.
Corali is a centralized, safe space where women from all backgrounds can access vital resources, network, receive training on civic leadership, networking, and business skills. They can also gain a sense of confidence and self-reliance that will help them fulfill their economic aspirations. To lower the barriers to participation for women to access Corali’s services, the center is accessible through public transportation, has a security system, and contains a daycare facility. The physical space includes a reception, computer lab, business development room, training room, and meeting room. Corali beneficiaries can access the center’s services through the website, with an online learning platform and registration system for events and trainings.
Women’s Entrepreneurship Programs
The center has three targeted curriculums to support women in establishing and strengthening their businesses, aspiring women entrepreneurs, and women in rural areas.
Emprende Mujer is a designed for women who want to start their business or are in the initial phases of starting a business. Participants receive training on various business topics including idea development, basic business skills, and financial planning.
Mujer Empresaria is for women businessowners of micro-, small-, and medium-sized (MSME’s) businesses who have demonstrated interest in business growth. This program has mentorship and networking components for participants to receive advice and technical assistance from business and entrepreneurship experts on methods for growth, and to partake in events to build their network.
Mujer Extraordinaria is focused on reaching women and additional marginalized populations such as youth and indigenous groups outside the city center of Quetzaltenango through a satellite office. It will provide business resources and organize events that strengthen the ecosystem for women’s economic inclusion.
Beyond the targeted entrepreneurship programs, CIPE is also working to build a network with women business leaders (REMUDEL) to advocate for a better business environment for women and strengthen the business environment.