Strategic alliance between un women and the project transforming market systems

Date: Tuesday, June 23, 2020

With the signing of an agreement that formalizes the alliance between UN Women, in the framework of its program Women, Local Economy and Territories (MELyT), financed by the Italian Cooperation Agency for Development (AICS) and the Transforming Market Systems (TMS) project, financed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), on June 23rd, a ceremony was held to commemorate the launch of what will be the connection of local women entrepreneurs and business people to a regional market, seeking a transformative social impact to promote the economic empowerment of women and gender equality.

As part of MELyT, in 2019, UN Women initiated the ENLACES project that seeks to connect companies in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras with the potential to generate impact, with local women entrepreneurs in the region, transforming their products, expanding their distribution networks and accelerating their presence in markets, thus putting them on the radar screen of opportunities. The regional implementer of ENLACES is ALTERNA, a social innovation platform in Guatemala.

ENLACES aims to strengthen 200 entrepreneurs and generate market connections for 5 anchor companies in Honduras through modern methodologies for doing business. The training and business support will be carried out through ALTERNA and the Business Development Centers (CDE MIPYME) of the Lempa Region, Western Region and Gulf of Fonseca. In this way, the initiative promotes the Social Development with a Gender and Youth Focus axis of the Strategy of the Trifinio Plan and the Women's Economic Autonomy axis of the Regional Policy for Gender Equality and Equity of SICA (Central American Integration System), for which it has the support of national institutions such as the National Women's Institute (INAM) and the National Service for Entrepreneurship and Small Businesses (SENPRENDE).

UN Women seeks the economic empowerment and economic autonomy of women, especially rural, indigenous and young women. The MELyT Programme makes an essential contribution to the reduction of gender inequalities, the eradication of poverty and inclusive territorial economic development. This programme considers all areas of women's economic contribution, from domestic and care work in the home, to their role as employees, producers and entrepreneurs from the local to the global level. To advance such empowerment, it strengthens the voice and influence of women in the public and private spheres and improves coordination between different social, public and private actors at different levels.

USAID/Honduras, through the TMS project, promotes competitive, resilient and inclusive market systems that provide greater economic opportunities, incorporating women, youth, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups that are often excluded by traditional market systems.