Managua, Nicaragua– MEDA recently hosted an e-book launch event called “Historias de coraje para mujeres luchadoras, 50 mujeres que convirtieron la adversidad en posibilidad” [“Stories of courage for powerful women: 50 women who turned adversity into possibility].” On November 30th, this event celebrated the stories of 50 brave rural women who overcame adversity to learn entrepreneurial skills and personal development. Representatives from Global Affairs Canada chaired the event, along with representatives from the Government of Nicaragua. Approximately 100 guests attended, including the 50 women entrepreneurs profiled in the book, ambassadors, donors, and partners.
This e-book is one of the outcomes of the Rural Women and Entrepreneurship program implemented by MEDA through the Technolinks+ project. It captures not only the challenges that the women faced but describes how they moved forward through the support of the Women’s Empowerment Program implemented by MEDA. In this program, more than 400 women have participated and 90 of them have received credits to implement their business plans through cooperatives, financial and public institutions. This program equipped them with entrepreneurial skills and personal growth that gave them confidence and benefited the women entrepreneurs, their families, and their community.
In Central America, rates of sexual and gender-based violence and harassment are extremely high, further impacting women’s safety and their freedom of movement to do business. Other obstacles include traditional gender roles hindering women’s business success, lack of access to finance and markets, an absence of women-centered entrepreneurial networking spaces, especially in rural areas, and the need to improve women’s self-confidence/esteem as leaders and entrepreneurs.
MEDA’s Technolinks+ project provides small-scale farmers, agribusinesses, and cooperatives with easier access to technology. Through the Technolinks+ project, farmers and businesses can access an electronic voucher and grants mechanism to develop their businesses and improve their use of technology. Technolinks+ is working to support 35,000 women and men, small-scale farmers, 85 agribusinesses and cooperatives, and public institutions at all levels of the supply chain.
Cony Peralta, MEDA’s Country Director in Nicaragua, further echoes why this launch matters for women in Central America.
“The women profiled in this e-book have overcome tremendous obstacles. Using their business skills, resilience, and hard work, they beat the odds and learned critical entrepreneurial skills. Economic empowerment isn’t just about earning money – it’s about achieving an improved quality of life.”– Cony Peralta
These stories further reflect MEDA’s long-term plan to create or sustain decent work for 500,000 people by 2030.
If you’re interested in reading more, check out MEDA’s Storehouse for more great content. Learn how entrepreneurs and farmers use their skills and talents to build prosperous businesses and livelihoods.