Project profile — Women’s Empowerment for Central America


Mennonite Economic DevelopmentAssociates of Canada (CA-CRA_ACR-0010011098)
2022-03-17 - 2025-06-30
Global Affairs Canada
NGM Americas

Country / region 

• Nicaragua (40.00%)
• Guatemala (60.00%)


• Women's rights organisations and movements, and government institutions:
Women's rights organisations and movements, and government institutions (15170) (35.00%)
Ending violence against women and girls (15180) (40.00%)
• Business And Other Services: Business Development Services (25030) (25.00%)

Policy marker 

• Gender equality (principal objective)
• Environmental sustainability (cross-cutting) (significant objective)
• Participatory development and good governance (significant objective)
• Trade development (not targeted)
• Biodiversity (not targeted)
• Climate change mitigation (not targeted)
• Climate Change Adaptation (not targeted)
• Urban issues (not targeted)
• Desertification (not targeted)
• Children's issues (not targeted)
• Disaster Risk Reduction(DRR) (not targeted)
• Youth Issues (not targeted)
• Indigenous Issues (significant objective)
• Disability (not targeted)
• Nutrition (not targeted)
• ICT as a tool for development (not targeted)


The project contributes to poverty alleviation by promoting the empowerment of women and girls, including rural and Indigenous women, in social and economic matters. This is used as a strategy to enhance gender equality and address sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) targeted value chains. It aims to create greater awareness of gender issues and social well-being in Guatemala and Nicaragua. Another strategy used is to improve these women’s business performance, their access to gender-responsive financial services and their access to community services. The project creates alliances between private sector actors and women-led businesses to develop new opportunities for growth and employment in businesses and leverage private capital to address SGBV. Project activities include: (1) providing business development consulting services, technical aid, education and training to underserved and underprivileged women-led businesses; (2) providing technical aid and linkages for underserved and underprivileged women-led businesses to connect to local and global value chains; (3) supporting financial institutions to apply fair gender practices to improve the economic conditions of women-led businesses. This is done by holding gender-lens investing forums and learning exchanges to promote these approaches; (4) conducting trainings and providing education on gender and women’s rights. Special focus is placed on providing services and resources to underprivileged women, girls and their families; (5) establishing partnerships with local women’s rights organizations to consult and advocate for the prevention of SGBV; and (6) training and educating men on gender roles and norms, and providing training and resources to community members related to SGBV.

Expected results 

The expected outcomes for this project include: (1) fairer, more inclusive, environmentally sustainable and growing businesses for marginalized women, particularly Indigenous women in Central America; (2) enhanced access to inclusive, environmentally and gender responsive financial products and services by women-led businesses in Central America; and (3) increased usage of well-being practice and services. This includes women, girls and targeted rural communities preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based violence and harassment.

Results achieved 

Results achieved as of March 2023 included: (1) completed an environmental and climate change analysis, which identified potential issues around environmental degradation, waste management and climate change; (2) completed a gender equality and social inclusion assessment and strategy for both countries of focus; (3) undertook mapping and assessment of several market actors involved in the project; and (4) developed a project impact and knowledge management manual.

Budget and spending 

Original budget $1,500,000
Planned disbursement $1,928,609
Transaction Date Type Value
03-04-2024 Disbursement $417,255
24-05-2024 Disbursement $428,623
Country percentages by sector
Type of finance Aid grant excluding debt reorganisation
Collaboration type Bilateral
Type of aid Project-type interventions
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