Investing in women-owned small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is one of the best ways to simultaneously achieve economic, financial, and social impact. Research shows that women-owned SMEs are significant accelerators of economic growth. Because women are also responsible for nearly two-thirds of worldwide consumer spending, leading corporations are seeking competitive advantage by including more women vendors in their global value chains to better serve and understand their customers. Moreover, women tend to spend more of their earned income than men on the health and education of their families, yielding significant social impact and bolstering future gains in productivity and inclusive growth.
Women’s Entrepreneurship in the Americas (WEAmericas) leverages public-private partnerships to increase women’s economic participation and address three key barriers women confront when starting and growing SMEs: access to training and networks, access to markets, and access to finance. Through these collaborations, the United States and its partners will:
1) Provide training and mentoring to women entrepreneurs throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, with a focus on business growth;
2) Support market access initiatives in countries throughout the region; and
3) Launch and expand initiatives to facilitate women-owned SMEs’ access to credit and other financial services.
WEAmericas connects women to economic growth and business opportunities and brings together the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to achieve mutually beneficial goals: inclusive economic growth, increased financial returns and social impact, formalization of informal sector work, and enhanced competitiveness for firms and economies.
WEAmericas builds on commitments made during the 2011 APEC Leaders Summit and in the San Francisco Declaration—which countries throughout the Americas supported, including Canada, Chile, Mexico, Peru, and the United States—and ongoing work under Pathways to Prosperity. Both initiatives address barriers to women’s economic participation.