The W.K. Kellogg Foundation Continues to Support Women and Community Well-Being

1 December, 2022


Founded in 1930 as a philanthropic foundation that works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work, and life, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation has become an essential partner for Pro Mujer in the work that we do to support Indigenous and rural communities in Southeast Mexico.

This year, the Kellogg Foundation joined as a sponsor of the GLI Forum LatAm 2022s, reiterating its commitment to gender equality and highlighting its initiatives to support and recognize Indigenous and rural women as critical to the development and well-being of their communities. As part of their participation at the event, the Kellogg Foundation spearheaded the organization of a panel on racial equity, a critical issue for the region.

Panel participants included María Tuyuc, Founder of the World Indigenous Business Network; Mildre Ramírez, Founder of Receta Maya; and Margarita López, Co-founder of Kip Tik. During the session, panel participants touched on the importance of ensuring that Indigenous women are involved in developing programs and services aimed at them and that these programs and services respect their worldviews and integrate their lived experiences.

Pro Mujer and the Kellogg Foundation are committed to ensuring that Indigenous and rural women are at the heart of the organizations’ joint initiatives in Southeast Mexico. In collaboration with global consulting firm Dalberg, the team conducted an in-depth research assessment of women entrepreneurs in the Missing Middle in Southeast Mexico.

This project, titled “Empowering Women Through Economic Autonomy and Entrepreneurship,” provides essential context to understand the vision, needs, and barriers faced by Indigenous and rural women entrepreneurs, particularly regarding financing.

The data showed that entrepreneurship is perceived as uncertain and costly. However, entrepreneurship also represents a core component of women’s livelihood and can potentially help them shift their mindset towards empowerment and autonomy.

The region’s geographical, cultural, and economic conditions mean that access to financing and financial education is an additional barrier for women trying to grow their businesses. This is why it is essential to build financial products that incorporate both a gender and an intersectional perspective.

As part of the efforts to create financial products that meet the needs of these women, Pro Mujer and Dalberg worked together to identify three archetypes of women entrepreneurs in Southeast Mexico: Defiant Pioneers, Unfocused Creators, and Committed Visionaries.

Defiant Pioneers are entrepreneurs who launched their businesses without prior experience but have been able to multiply their impact successfully. Unfocused Creators are women entrepreneurs who have a more expansive vision of what their companies could be, but they don’t know how to make that vision a reality. And lastly, Committed Visionaries have a more acute understanding of market demands and clear objectives for their businesses—these women have the potential to become examples for the next generation.

The initiatives implemented by Pro Mujer and the Kellogg Foundation in Southeast Mexico are grounded in a holistic and intersectional approach, and the findings and takeaways from these initiatives will increase the impact on women’s lives and generate positive and compounding benefits in local communities.