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On International Women’s Day, IICA launches virtual entrepreneurship course for rural women

Puno, Peru – circa June 2015: Women singing at Uros floating island and village on Lake Titicaca near Puno, Peru

On International Women’s Day, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) is launching, for the first time ever, an introductory course on entrepreneurship for rural women from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. The course will be geared towards fostering management and leadership skills among these groups.

The initiative addresses a request made at the Second Forum of Female Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Senior Officials of Agriculture of the Americas in July 2022. At the event convened by IICA, the officials agreed that it would only be possible to achieve food security in the countries through greater participation by women. To that end, they called for exploring the possibility of delivering training to women entrepreneurs in the agrifood sector.

In response to this request, IICA designed and presented a course at the third forum, held in November. Registration is now open for the course, which consists of five learning units and will last two months.

Participants will receive training in entrepreneurial culture, community leadership, marketing, business scale-up and how to access business loans. They will also be offered funding and marketing tools for their entrepreneurial ideas.

The Forum of Female Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Senior Officials of Agriculture of the Americas was established in 2021 by IICA, following a request by its member countries to establish a forum that would give greater visibility to and highlight the importance of rural women’s contributions, as well as drive policymaking aimed at reducing gender gaps and inequalities.

Approximately 58 million women live in rural areas of the Americas. Their work is often underreported and they face difficulties in accessing credit and technical assistance programs.

“The entrepreneurship course for rural women seeks to contribute to greater equity in agricultural and rural development processes, as well as shifting paradigms in rural areas, so that they become areas of progress, opportunities and well-being for everyone”, said IICA Director General Manuel Otero.

“We are launching a training proposal to provide rural women of the Americas with practical tools, contribute to their empowerment and strengthen their leadership as entrepreneurs. The course is aimed at enhancing their capabilities and, in turn, improving their quality of life and economic status”, remarked Priscila Z??iga Villalobos, Manager of IICA’s Gender Equality and Youth Program.

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Participants in IICA’s virtual course must be nationals or residents of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru or Venezuela, live in a rural area, have basic schooling and have an entrepreneurial idea or one that is in its early stages.

On this occasion, only nine participants from each country will be able to enroll. Registration will begin on March 8 and the course, which will be delivered in Spanish, will begin on March 22. To participate in the selection process, please access this link.

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