Grameen Foundation to design mobile financial and business curriculum to empower women entrepreneurs in Latin America

The gender gap that exists in access to mobile technology creates significant barriers to eradicating poverty among Latin American women and their families. Grameen Foundation is proud to have been selected to support Millicom in taking on that challenge through its program, “Conectadas: Building Financial Capabilities and Entrepreneurship Skills among Latin American Women and Girls via Mobile Technology.” Specifically, Grameen will design educational content for a mobile phone application that will teach women entrepreneurs how to grow their businesses and manage their finances using various technology platforms.

Launched in Guatemala in 2017, the Conectadas program was built on the understanding that gender equality expands economic growth, promotes social development, and enhances business performance. Likewise, digital connectivity can help women bypass social restrictions and lead to better outcomes for their livelihood and for the health and education of their children. Due to the program’s success, Conectadas will expand to El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Columbia, Paraguay and Bolivia.

To support Millicom as it scales up its Conectadas model, Grameen will leverage its robust knowledge of instructional design and gender disparity issues, plus two decades of experience advancing women’s economic empowerment in Latin America through financial inclusion initiatives, business education, and digital innovations.

“In many households, cultural and social norms dictate that women do not have the same access to services as men, or the opportunity to utilize those services,” said Grameen Foundation CEO Steve Hollingworth. “We are pleased Millicom recognized Grameen’s expertise in connecting poor rural women and their households to financial services and products, as well as our deep understanding of the gender barriers that can prevent women from achieving economic empowerment.”

Over the course of 10 months, Grameen will research, design, test, and deliver digital content to Millicom that will enable women owners of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to use their phones to improve their financial literacy and mobile entrepreneurial skills.

The Grameen-designed education modules will be built on the Mobile Usage Module already developed by Millicom’s partner Sheva, and will be designed to achieve four learning goals: Understanding Personal Finance Concepts and Digital Finance Options; Business Finances and Accessing Financial Options; Leveraging Digital Branding and Marketing; and Using Social Media to Grow a Business.

The content will also include short, 1-2-minute videos, followed by quizzes to reinforce the learning. Grameen will draw from the best of edutainment approaches to introduce additional creative approaches, while maintaining a deep commitment to Adult Learning Principles and Objective-Based Learning.

“Economic empowerment of women entrepreneurs increases their resilience and helps them overcome adversity,” said Holllingworth. “Grameen is proud to join Millicom in helping women in Latin America gain financial knowledge and entrepreneurial skills, and ultimately, self-confidence and agency.”

About Grameen Foundation

Grameen Foundation is a global nonprofit whose mission is to enable the poor, especially women, to create a world without poverty and hunger. Our programs combine expertise and services in three key areas: digital financial services for women; mobile agricultural solutions for smallholder farmers; and health financing and access for the poor.

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