Young Goiás Women to Become Entrepreneurs in New Empowerment Project

The project is known as "Meninas Super Empreendedoras" in Brazil.

The project is known as "Meninas Super Empreendedoras" in Brazil.

Leia em português.

Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil (August 21, 2017) - The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), in cooperation with the Micro and Small Business Support Service (SEBRAE) of Goiás state, the State Secretary of Health’s Executive Group on Drugs (GEED), and the Pró-Cerrado Foundation, is holding a public event to launch a new project, Women Power! (WOMP!), which will empower young women in the region of Goiânia and Aparecida de Goiânia to improve their economic situations and well-being through entrepreneurship.

The event will be held at 2pm on August 24 at the Mauro Borges Auditorium in the Pedro Ludovico Palace in Goiânia’s Civic Plaza, attended by project participants, local leaders, and authorities. Directly following the kickoff event, 150 young women will attend the project’s first seminar on innovation and motivation.

“In Brazil, women do not have the same opportunities as men and frequently earn less than their male counterparts,” said Paulo Cavalcanti, PADF’s Country Representative in Brazil. “Many want brighter futures but they are particularly disadvantaged.”

Gender inequality in Brazil is a vast problem, evidenced by violence against women and disproportionate income between genders. The outlook is particularly grim for women of color, who are most likely to be poor and distanced from the levers of power. In Goiás, women’s income is only 70% of men’s. It is especially challenging for women to find business opportunities in non-traditional fields for women such as digital technology.

“We’re excited to have designed a program that allows young women to thrive by creating small businesses,” said Cavalcanti. “The best response to gender inequality is to empower young women.”

Young women in the WOMP! program will participate in seminars on confidence and self-esteem, complete an 80-hour entrepreneurship training program, and establish mentoring relationships with successful businesswomen to implement individual business plans. Upon completing the program, they will be equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills, and support to start small businesses.

“This is a great opportunity for young women to become entrepreneurial women capable of deciding their own future,” said Cavalcanti, “generating economic wealth for their families, and improving their quality of life.”

PADF is proud to partner with local organizations to implement the project. SEBRAE is an autonomous Brazilian institution that fosters the development of entrepreneurship and small enterprises. GEED is a specialized agency under the State Secretary of Health that coordinates public policy on drugs in Goiás. The Pró-Cerrado Foundation is a youth-focused organization that works with the private, public, and non-profit sectors to prevent school violence and dropouts, generate income and employment, and foster human development.

PADF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization affiliated with the Organization of American States that works to assist vulnerable and excluded people and communities in the Americas to achieve sustainable economic and social progress. PADF has worked in Brazil for more than a decade to promote environmental protection, increase health care access for vulnerable populations, and support local organizations.

Media contact:
Paulo Cavalcanti
PADF Country Representative, Brazil
55+61 3329.6006

Chris Wooley
Program Manager
+1 (202) 458-3350

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