Posted by Steve Lettau on Feb 17, 2021

Here’s why these organizations and their Rotary club partners are supporting local women’s entrepreneurship with financial literacy, small business loans, and one-on-one advisors.

by Anne Stein

Women’s economic empowerment contributes to a nation’s growth and to the world’s economic health overall. Studies have shown that it boosts productivity, increases economic diversification and income equality, and supports economic resilience. And income loss associated with gender discrimination costs the world economy an estimated $12 trillion and well as a reduction of 16 percent of cost to the global GPD.

In Guatemala, a country that for three decades was racked by civil war and where destitution and violence are still serious problems, a nonprofit called Namaste Direct is focused on women micro-entrepreneurs, helping them to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.

For Mayan women who run small businesses in Guatemala’s western highlands, and for many others, Namaste Direct provides crucial support. The San Francisco, California, USA-based group, which counts Rotary clubs from across the United States and Canada among its sponsors, employs a three-pronged approach: financial literacy training, mentoring, and microloans.