NicaWomen social entrepreneurs

Social entrepreneurship training, gender empowerment and incubation program for low income women to generate start-ups; expand their managerial skills, and increase their access to professional and social networks

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Category: Empowering Women

Location: Nicaragua

Project Impact


1. Inspire, empower and create opportunities for 30 low-income women from 4 provinces of Nicaragua to be able to use their talents, skills and expertise to create sustainable social impact in their communities.

2. Support the incubation of social ventures designed by women to effectively tackle some of the most pressing issues in their communities.

3. Develop participant’s confidence, skill and entrepreneurial spirit through trainings on gender analysis; information and communications technology; leadership and management; and the development of an innovative start-up.

4. Increase women’s access to professional and social networks by connecting them to successful social and business initiatives that will help them stand out as leaders and managers.

5. Develop an understanding of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to advance their start-up proposals

6. Foster cooperation with individuals, nonprofits, etc. to contribute human and intellectual capital for the project


Our target population is 30 low income women from 4 provinces of Nicaragua (Carazo, Granada, Masaya and Managua). However, the benefits of this project will extend this target group, as the women will also be involved in the design of 4 social start-up initiatives which will potentially expand the benefits of this project.

Women have been recognized as an important untapped source for social change and economic growth, yet they continue to represent a minority of all entrepreneurs, since they face many social and cultural barriers. Studies demonstrate that women are more likely than men to be involved with a socially oriented start-up versus other non socially oriented business and it has been proven that women who have undergone some form of enterprise training are twice as likely to be engaged in entrepreneurial activity.

Therefore, with this program we will increase their opportunity to enter other social and political spheres in ways often denied to them due to their gender.


a) Personal empowerment and professional development for 30 low income women

b) 4 training modules to empower women and develop leadership and managerial skills and incubate a start-up idea.

c) 3 visits to successful social entrepreneurship initiatives showing participants their initiative, describing their stories and focusing on barriers and opportunities

d) 1 videoconference with women social entrepreneurs from other C.A countries

e) Group incubation sessions with successful social entrepreneurs f) At least 4 start-ups that can help tackle specific social problems in their communities

g) 4 videos documenting personal and group experience that can serve as an educational material.

h) A web-site with input of participants that will include educational and professional networking resources useful to other Nicaraguan women

i) Develop partnerships with other nonprofits/companies/individuals interested in women’s empowerment and social entrepreneurship to continue the project

a) Regular attendance of women that participate in training modules (80% attendance)

b) 70% of women complete the program

c) 100% of women using information and communications technology

d) 4 start-ups incubated/presented by women e) Baseline to evaluate women’s dreams/aspirations and their perception of empowerment, knowledge of ICT, social entrepreneurship, gender, leadership and managerial skills. This baseline then will be compared to a survey at the end of the program

f) Videos and use of photography to document their personal and group experience and growth


As part of the project we will be creating a website, blog and will be using Facebook and twitter to publicize the activities, progress and to request support from other entrepreneurs. We also have developed very good relationships with certain local tv channels (2, 14, 12) and radio programs (radio corporación) that have covered another program that we are currently developing with young social entrepreneurs.
Local Partners

The Nicaraguan Polytechnic University (UPOLI), NicaHope (non profit organization), The Central American University (UCA) and many other volunteers and social entrepreneurs who are part of our network of relationships that committed to creating opportunities for women’s economic, social and political participation. We will also seek to engage Vital Voices (an international organization that supports women in business) and representatives of Ashoka (international entrepreneurship org ) in Guatemala, among others.

The team of alumni so far includes: Ana Williams, Rubén Reyes, Pauni Obregón, Ana Margarita Vijil, Oscar Castillo Guido, Xenia Barahona, Luis Williams, Cristobal Williams and César Dubois. We are a socio-economically diverse, interdisciplinary group of professionals, with over 10 years of experience in our fields (gender, education, Information Technology, business, genetics, political science, environmental studies, urban policy, law, etc.)

Proposed Project Dates:September 02, 2013 – September 01, 2014
Steps To Implement

Activities / Month 

1. Preparation of activities (September, 2013 )
2. Launching initiative, advertisement and selection of participants (Oct- Nov, 2013)
3. Training Module #1: Identity, Gender, and society (December, 2013)
4. Training Module #2: Information and communications technology trainings (Jan – Feb, 2014
5. Training Module #3: Leadership and management Skills (March- April, 2014)
6. Training Module #4: Developing a Start-up Proposal (May-July, 2014)
7. Incubation Sessions (Feb- August, 2104)
8. Talks and visits with successful Social Entrepreneurship initiatives (Jan – August, 2014)
9. Presentation of Start-ups (August, 2014
10. Review of Start-ups (August, 2014)
11 Webpage and social media use (Blog,twitter,FB) (Oct, 2013)
12. Videos of experiences (Dec 2013, March, 2014, June 2014, August, 2014
13. Presentation Final Report (Sept 2014)

Total Funding Requested: $25,000.00

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