With continued support from the Fondo Nacional de Capital Social (the National Social Capital Fund, FONCAP), Pro Mujer has reaffirmed its commitment to women entrepreneurs in Argentina, particularly those that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic forced her to close her food stand in Salta, in Northern Argentina, Martina, who has been a Pro Mujer client for 10 years, refused to give up and was able to successfully re-open her business. Thanks to its 15-year collaboration with FONCAP, Pro Mujer has been able to continue to support micro-entrepreneurs like Martina during this difficult time.
With the funds contributed by FONCAP, Pro Mujer has been able to reach even more entrepreneurs in Northern Argentina, offering access to credit and financial and entrepreneurship training.
“Over this past year, FONCAP has doubled the financial support provided to Pro Mujer, the largest microfinance organization in Argentina, so that the organization could continue to support women and families in Argentina that have been most impacted by the pandemic,” said Mateo Bartolini, General Manager of FONCAP. “This investment has made FONCAP a key contributor to Pro Mujer’s impact in Salta and to the reconstruction of Argentina.”
Women entrepreneurs in Argentina currently struggle to access the financial services necessary to manage and grow their businesses. According to SME Finance Forum, only 36.5% of women have access to credit. Additionally, only 4% of women-led businesses are able to finance their operations using bank loans, while this number continues to increase to 24.9% for men. Unfortunately, during the pandemic, things have only gotten worse.
“These funds have allowed us to continue to provide support to women entrepreneurs in Northern Argentina, including offering access to necessary financing that can help them weather the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ana Acosta, Business and Services Manager at Pro Mujer in Argentina. “Some women injected this capital into their businesses, while others used this support to learn new and useful skills.”
Thanks to support from Pro Mujer, Martina has been able to keep her business open and has been able to continue to support her two children.
“My dream is to keep growing my business and to provide support and stability to my children,” said Martina. “I still have a lot of dreams that I’m working to make a reality, but I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished so far.”