“It’s all about believing in yourself and your abilities” – a vocational training project that supports 400 women entrepreneurs in Nicaragua

The first year of the vocational training project equips women in Nicaragua with more financial independence and self-confidence.

“I have become better at communicating my products to customers, I am no longer so shy, and I am better at promoting my business,” says Betshy Hernández, who has already completed the entire course and networking events in Nicaragua. 

The entrepreneurship training is part of a two-year project supported by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and our local partner, ANDECU. One of the project’s objectives is to make beneficiaries aware of their fundamental rights and to improve their self-esteem as entrepreneurs. Hernandez, who specializes in textile printing, feels the project has holistically supported her.

“I work better with my team and have led the way in increasing my company’s productivity. In addition, my communication is no longer based on word-of-mouth recommendations, but I also use all the necessary communication tools for marketing my company,” says Hernández.

55% of entrepreneurs have improved their sales

Every spring, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland requires the projects it supports to submit an annual report showing progress toward the project’s objectives. The Nicaraguan project aims to strengthen gender equality in civil society and improve women’s sources of income. On a practical level, the aim is for 400 women to enhance the administrative and accounting management of their businesses, gain access to the business market and achieve economic independence, thus supporting the economic development of their families and communities.

After the first year, the targets are well on track despite the pandemic. To date, 55% of owners have received a fair wage as their sales have increased since participating in the program. 50% have improved their business and can diversify by adding new products or exporting them to other regions.

These results are significant at a time when Nicaragua’s economy has been in decline for the third consecutive year. Most importantly, the project will benefit entrepreneurs, giving them more tools to grow their businesses and hire new workers.

“Even if others say we can’t do something, the main thing is to believe in ourselves and our talents,” concludes Hernández with satisfaction.



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