On June 23, UN Women, the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and female empowerment, launched a strategic alliance with the USAID/Honduras Transforming Market Systems Activity, a program funded by USAID and implemented by ACDI/VOCA in Honduras. This new alliance is part of the framework of UN Women’s Women, Local Economy and Territories program, funded by the Italian Development Cooperation Agency. It will provide women entrepreneurs in Honduras the chance to connect to regional economic markets.

“With this alliance, the lives of women who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 can be transformed.”

Maria-Noel Vaeza, UN Women’s Regional Director for the Americas and the Caribbean

Within the Women, Local Economy and Territories program, UN Women started the Enlaces initiative in 2019 to connect companies from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras with women entrepreneurs in the region. This connection gave companies the opportunity to transform their products, expand their distribution networks, and accelerate their presence in markets.

The Enlaces initiative is implemented by Alterna, a social innovation platform based in Guatemala. In Honduras, the initiative will support 200 entrepreneurs and create market connections for five anchor companies using modern business methodologies. Alterna and three regional business development centers for small- and medium-sized enterprises in the Lempa, Western, and Gulf of Fonseca regions will offer business training and support.

During the alliance’s launch event, Minister Luis Colindres, of the National Service for Entrepreneurship and Small Business (SENPRENDE), spoke about the significance of women in the Honduran economy, noting that they represent 51 percent of the country’s population, yet face a range of obstacles to accessing and benefiting from economic opportunities. Minister Ana Aminta Madrid, of the National Institute for Women, also participated in the event.

The alliance is a promising new chapter in efforts to achieve the economic autonomy of women, especially indigenous women, youth, and women in rural areas. It considers all areas of women’s economic contribution, from domestic work and caregiving to their role as employees, producers, and entrepreneurs. By improving coordination between different market actors, the alliance will strengthen the voice and influence of women in public and private spheres.

This aligns with the USAID/Honduras Transforming Market Systems Activity’s goals to create more inclusive jobs for Hondurans who have fewer resources, weaker networks, and less influence and are, therefore, at risk of migrating.

Learn more about our work in Honduras.

Learn more about the USAID/Honduras Transforming Market Systems Activity.