- “It behooves every man to remember that the work of the critic is of altogether secondary importance, and that, in the end, progress is accomplished by the man (and woman) who does things.” -- Teddy Roosevelt
The purpose of the Women’s Initiative is to ensure that Agora provides programs that are relevant to the unique needs of women entrepreneurs in Central America and to capture the immense, untapped opportunity women business owners represent to create positive change.
Women are the predominant recipients of microloans in the developing world. However, when it comes to receiving growth capital for early-stage businesses operating in the formal economy, women are woefully underrepresented. Women represent an enormous opportunity for investors focused on social and economic returns.
Almost 40% of the businesses Agora supports are owned and operated by women entrepreneurs.
Agora works closely with Vital Voices in Central America. Particularly in Nicaragua, we are working to develop finance and entrepreneurship training material for Vital Voices. Two of Agora’s local Advisory Board members founded the Nicaraguan chapter of Vital Voices.
In 2009, Agora participated on the planning committee of the Pathways to Prosperity Women’s Entrepreneurship Conference, hosted by the US State Department in Washington, DC. Agora organized and moderated the ‘access to finance’ panel, and helped bring both Nicaraguan and US-based women entrepreneurs to the conference.