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Women's Day Celebrations

By: Humberto Galo, Patricia Ramírez and Brian Jarquin

More than 20% of companies in Nicaragua are led by women and although this number continues to be lower than it is for men, representatives of women’s organizations consider it to be a significant advance.

“Even though the majority of female business owners are micro-entrepreneurs, it is not so difficult for women to establish businesses. We have improved the status of women and we have also enhanced education,” said Maritza Moncada, president of the Permanent Congress for Nicaraguan Businesswomen.

Moncada was one of the representatives that participated this Tuesday in the Credit Promotion Forum and Fair, an important event for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) organized by the Nicaraguan Businesswomen’s Network (REN). MiCrédito played a part in the fair through promoting its new “Women Entrepreneurship” program.

Blanka Callejas of REN added that the promotion of self-esteem, financial education, and new financing policies will help women to play a greater role in Nicaragua’s economy.

In the forum, the Nicaraguan Foundation for Economic and Social Development (FUNIDES) presented a study called “The Route to Credit for Women.”

This research found that 28.4% of Nicaraguan businesses are run by women, 59.3% are run by men, and 12.4% are led by mixed female and male teams.

“The participation of women in the agriculture sector is less than in other sectors (industry and commerce). In the industrial sector, women make up 41% of the labour force, while the highest level of female participation is in the services sector, where female work makes up 45.6% of the total,” said FUNIDES’s executive director Juan Sebastián Chamorro.

Supporting New Initiatives

MiCrédito’s participation in the forum involved promoting its “Women Entrepreneurship” program, which helps both rural and urban women to launch small businesses through financing options starting at US$ 100.

“This credit is different from traditional loans because its purpose is not just to strengthen the woman’s business, but also to improve her capital in the workplace,” said Yahoska Fuentes, a MiCrédito loan officer.

Fuentes added that spaces like the REN event allow entrepreneurial women to promote their products and also to “learn more about credit products and share their experiences with microfinance institutions, which helps these organizations design products to meet their needs. There are many women who want to expand their businesses but do not know how to do it.”