Top 4 Programs for Female Founders in Latin America

Enabling more minority groups to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams can be a smart way to stimulate innovation in an economy. The Gender Gap Index of the World Economic Forum notes that the fastest way to close the gender gap is to support women’s entrepreneurship, and the equality would add US$12 trillion to the world’s economy.

According to a study by INCAE Business School, Latin America specifically has the second highest rate of female entrepreneurs discontinuing their business, which perceived to be caused by the lack of access to capital. However, there are several initiatives that are working to reduce, and perhaps eliminate, this rate.

Here are four programs for female founders in Latin America.

1. Empoderando Mujeres

This program is designed for early-stage startups with a female leader. In this program, the selected teams join an incubation program for six months with Startup Mexico, receive mentoring sessions from Girl Power, register their company, and have access to financing.  However, in order to apply for Empoderando Mujeres, the team must only have a business idea that they want to develop, or be operating informally and want to become a legal entity.

Learn more about the program here.

2. Capital Abeja

Capital Abeja is a fund sponsored by Sercotec, an organization under the Chilean Ministry of Economy, Development, and Tourism. The fund supports new, female-led businesses that meet the focus defined by the Sercotec call in their region. Selected businesses receive financing, training, technical assistance, and marketing. Similar to the previous program, the businesses should not have any activities in the first category of Chile’s Internal Revenue Service.

Learn more about the program here.

3. Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab Miami

Although this program takes place in Miami, Florida, 45% of the cohort were Latin American founders in 2016 and Latin America founders are encouraged to apply. WIN Lab is an eight-month accelerator program, including business courses from Babson College faculty, one-on-one coaching, and access to experts in a variety of industries.

Learn more about the program here.

4. Start-Up Chile S Factory

The S Factory is one of Start-Up Chile’s star programs, now going on to their eighth cohort. The program offers four months of training and workshops in Santiago, Chile and US$15,000 of equity-free funding. One of the founders of the startup must be female, and the startup should be less than one year old. Because of this program, female participation in Start-Up Chile’s seed accelerator program is rising, and the innovative capacity of Santiago’s startup ecosystem is improving.

Learn more about the program here.

Statistically, “businesses led by women survive on average twice as long as those led by men and sell an average of 30% more”, according to Sebastián Díaz, Deputy Director of Start-Up Chile. These are just some of the programs helping empower female entrepreneurs in Latin America, and limitations are beginning to fade.

If there are any other programs for female founders in Latin America that we missed, please share them in the comments.