U.S. Embassy Launches Program to Empower Women Business Leaders

May 10, 2023 : The United States Embassy in Ecuador has launched the Economic Reactivation for Women and SMEs (PODER) program, providing $2 million in funding to support women entrepreneurs, particularly marginalized communities, in expanding and sustaining their businesses. The program’s primary objective is to assist these companies in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

By fostering a more inclusive environment for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Ecuador, the program seeks to empower women business leaders who have historically been underserved. It will offer training, mentoring, and access to business networks, enabling growth and empowerment within this demographic.

Michael J. Fitzpatrick, the United States Ambassador in Ecuador, emphasized that supporting women entrepreneurs has far-reaching benefits for communities, economies, and democracies. The United States Government prioritises promoting inclusive economic development and supporting women, both domestically and internationally.

IMPAQTO, a local organization, has been chosen as the implementing partner for the program in Ecuador. Through PODER, women and their SMEs will gain assistance in creating employment opportunities, participating in knowledge-sharing workshops, and enhancing their families’ livelihoods.

Upon completing the program, participants will be equipped with strengthened skills and empowered personal and professional lives. This will enable them to lead more resilient and sustainable companies, generating improved livelihoods and contributing to Ecuador’s economy.

The PODER program aligns with other initiatives the United States Government implemented to train women entrepreneurs in Ecuador. One notable example is the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), which has provided training to over 1,300 women since 2017.

As a steadfast proponent of gender equity and equality, the United States remains committed to empowering women and girls worldwide, encompassing diverse backgrounds and circumstances.