Pro Mujer and Gloria Ruíz, Pro Mujer Country Representative in Nicaragua, Receive Award for Contributions to Microfinance

10 July, 2023

Blog, Press

The Network of Financial Development Institutions (RFD) and Fundación Espoir recently hosted the 9th Annual Latin American Community Banking Forum to create a space for reflection, discussion, and analysis and strengthen community banking in the region.

Held in Manta, Ecuador, on May 18 and 19, the Forum brought together representatives from civil society organizations, financial entities, private and state banks, and industry professionals to discuss successful models of community banking, learn about the model’s challenges, and highlight its potential to empower women in Latin America.

During the event, Gloria Ruiz, Pro Mujer Country Representative in Nicaragua, was invited to share Pro Mujer’s experience there. Based on her many years of experience, Gloria highlighted the extreme vulnerability and segregation faced by Nicaraguan women, who represent 85% of Pro Mujer’s Financial Services portfolio.

Currently, women in Nicaragua are 19% less likely to have access to the same opportunities as men (World Economic Forum), and women’s gross national income is 22% lower than men’s (United Nations Development Programme). 

In addition, only 13% of Nicaraguan women have received a loan from a banking institution or mobile money application (World Bank), emphasizing the pressing need to promote innovative financial models that democratize access to capital for Nicaraguan women. 

Gloria highlighted the essential role of community banking as a successful framework grounded in reliability and collaboration that allows women to support each other through the process of taking on and repaying their debt. These groups can also access personal loans, skilling opportunities, and health services.

At the closing gala, Gloria was recognized for her role in the effective execution and implementation of community banking as part of Pro Mujer’s credit portfolio. 

Pro Mujer was also recognized for promoting community banking and financial inclusion in the region. This recognition of our impact so far is a powerful motivator to continue working with and for women!

This recognition comes on the heels of Pro Mujer Nicaragua’s recent Gold Certification from CERISE and SPTF, which recognized the organization’s high performance in Client Protection, as well as the recognition of consulting firm 60 Decibels, which highlighted Pro Mujer Nicaragua as the microfinance organization with the greatest social impact in Latin America:

  • 69% of women said they were accessing a loan for the first time.
  • 91% report that their business income increased.
  • 93% say their quality of life has improved.
  • 83% say they have been able to reach their financial goals.

Since its inception, Pro Mujer Nicaragua has placed its clients at the center of its work, impacting the lives of thousands of women over the past 27 years. In 2022, Pro Mujer Nicaragua offered 60,000+ health services and provided 52,000+ women access to financial services and 19,000+ women access to skilling opportunities.