Women's Entrepreneurship in the Americas (WEAmericas)

September 19, 2013
video

WEAmericas Video Script

Voiceover: Women-owned enterprises are significant drivers of social and economic development around the world. However, women still face many barriers when starting and growing their businesses, particularly when it comes to accessing markets, capital,  skills and capacity-building, and growing women’s leadership opportunities. That is why at the Summit of the Americas, President Obama launched Women’s Entrepreneurship in the Americas, or WEAmericas, to leverage public-private partnerships, to break down these barriers.

Marisol del Carmen Brooks Zelaya, Nicaragua: Women are 70 percent of the owners of small and medium-sized enterprises in Nicaragua, however a large part of them aren’t registered, aren’t legalized. They don’t have the necessary support for their businesses to grow. But even still, there have been impediments; there are always impediments for women trying to develop themselves economically. 

Maria de Los Angeles Torres Suarez, Uruguay: Most of all I think that women need training and access to credit, and that women as a gender need to be taken into consideration as a productive segment of the market. We need to strengthen their access to markets. We believe that information represents opportunities, and if we can provide them with training they will be able to grow in a viable, successful way.

Voiceover: Through WEAmericas, the State Department is taking the lead in helping women from across the Americas build their opportunities, grow their networks, and increase their leadership potential.

Marisol, Nicaragua: In the WEAmericas program, we have learned quite a lot. We've gotten to know the experiences of other women, and also tools that can help women in these small and medium-sized enterprises to draw out their business plans, create their market strategies, and start their marketing, among other tools that they have given us, and that I’m sure they will continue giving to us. So the simple access to that is a great step for us.

Maria, Uruguay: I'm going to try to get this information out to other women, so that other women can also participate in this program, and therefore, we can have a multiplier effect. We can improve the efficiency of the work we're doing and have more sustainable development.

Voiceover:  The United States is committed to supporting opportunities for women in Latin America through exchanges and partnerships.  Unlocking the untapped potential of women entrepreneurs is building the foundation for economic development around the world.