LBC sat down with WEConnect’s Elizabeth Vazquez to discuss how the organization works, and why supporting women-owned small business is important – and good for business.
Small business is the key to Latin America’s economic success, with almost half the region’s workforce employed in such enterprises. Supporting these businesses is vital. But beyond just supporting small business, it is essential to promote businesses owned by women and other underrepresented minorities.
Various studies have cited female involvement in the economy is essential for economic growth. A recent report from the International Monetary Fund found that countries where women face fewer opportunities to participate in the workforce experience lower overall economic growth – accounting for up to 27 percent lower GDP in some countries – and can have negative effects on development in other more significant ways. Around the world, including in Latin America, women tend to do the majority of unpaid, domestic work, and when they are employed, it is often in the lower-paying informal sector. Given that other studies from multilaterals show that women are more likely to better manage the family budget and invest their earnings in education – both of which are key to ensuring a nation’s economic future – this is a serious issue.
One of the organizations that work to empower women and promote economic development is WEConnect, a global non-profit and a proud partner of Latin Trade Group in its September Trade Américas & ConnectAmericas Expo. “We created WEConnect International to address the deficit in funding and supporting women-owned products and services,” Elizabeth A. Vazquez, CEO and Co-Founder of WEConnect International told Latin Business Chronicle.