San Jose, October 11, 2022. With the aim of promoting gender equity in business and expanding opportunities for companies led by women in Costa Rica, the Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER), the Ministry of Foreign Trade (COMEX), the Chamber of Commerce, the University de Brenau and the Costa Rica Gender Parity Initiative joined forces and created the IMPULSA Program, which will select -in a first stage- 150 SMEs for a process of generating business, managerial and leadership skills. This training has been designed with a women’s lens, with the aim of providing tools that facilitate facing the challenges that interfere or limit the administrative management of their companies, negotiations and even the balance between business and personal responsibilities.
IMPULSA is aimed at micro, small and medium-sized companies in all productive sectors that are owned by a woman. It seeks to increase the number of women entrepreneurs in the export sector, through affirmative actions that accelerate the closing of gender gaps, but above all by recognizing their leadership in boosting the inclusive economic development of Costa Rica.
The companies chosen in this first phase will be part of a two-day training program in November, given by the University of Brenau, and for those participants who require it, an alternative care for infants will be made available. The 150 selected companies will receive scholarships from the allies to cover the cost of the course, care or food service during the two days of training.
The second stage of IMPULSA will consist of a program of six virtual and asynchronous modules taught by the University of Brenau, PROCOMER and the Chamber of Commerce; and in the third stage companies will be selected for scaling through access to financing.
Paula Bogantes, Minister a.i. of Foreign Trade, indicated “when women are integrated into the economy, productivity increases and growth becomes more inclusive and sustainable. In Costa Rica, only 27% of exporting companies are led by women, which shows us the great challenge that lies ahead in terms of gender equity. Through initiatives such as the IMPULSA program, we want to contribute to closing these gaps to generate more and better development”.
“Studies indicate that a dollar in the hands of a woman has a multiplier effect of four times more on her community than in the hands of a man. This is just one piece of information that shows us that the correct way to reactivate the economy lies in promoting gender equality in business. For this reason, PROCOMER -hand in hand with strategic partners with whom we share the purpose of bringing well-being to all the country’s communities- launches the IMPULSA initiative, through which we intend to give tools to women so that they can boost their businesses, and In this way, we comply with one of our strategic pillars that establishes the promotion of the inclusion of women in trade, as a differentiating component of the exportable offer,” said Pedro Beirute Prada, general manager of PROCOMER.
For her part, Mayela Rojas Solórzano, president of the PME of the Costa Rican Chamber, indicated that “working with women is good business, when companies and organizations recognize the benefits and what women contribute to national economic development, they create more inclusive and productive spaces that seek to incorporate more business owners into the country’s development. From the Women in Business Program (PME) of the Chamber of Commerce, we promote a series of measures to enhance female participation in the productive sector and reduce the economic gap between men and women, which is why we partner with major players to create the IMPULSA program, which will open new possibilities for Costa Rican female talent, a great asset for the growth of the economy”.
At the launch of this program, PROCOMER, the Chamber of Commerce, the University of Brenau and the Gender Parity Initiative signed a memorandum of understanding with which they commit to cooperate and coordinate efforts that lead to more and better opportunities for companies. led by women of the country.
“Brenau University celebrates the beginning of this collaboration, where we bring our experience and join forces with important agents of change in the country, preparing women to generate wealth through entrepreneurship and participation in international markets, an initiative that will allow them to demonstrate their potential and what the fruit of their efforts can manage with the right conditions, contributing significantly to the country’s growth. Congratulations to Costa Rica for leading initiatives to close inequality gaps,” added Anne Skleder, president of Brenau University.
“The IPG, as a high-level public-private partnership, has accelerated attention to closing gender gaps in economic processes. The synergy and articulation between the efforts of its members from the public and private sectors, and strategic allies has allowed the generation of new initiatives, such as this IMPULSA program to address challenges jointly. IMPULSA will generate opportunities for more women to boost the export sector in Costa Rica”, assured Pamela Castillo, leader of the Technical Secretariat of the IPG in Costa Rica, promoted with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the French Development Agency (AFD) and the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Companies led by women interested in being part of IMPULSA must meet the following requirements: be the owner or co-owner of a formal company and have at least one year of sales. For more information, you can write to the email [email protected] The call for this initiative closes on October 25.
Gender equity study details
Within the framework of the launch of IMPULSA, PROCOMER presented the study “Gender equity in the Costa Rican export sector”, which set out the objective of measuring the level of female leadership in the Costa Rican export sector, as well as the factors that affect facilitate or hinder the closing of the gender gap within the sector.
The study showed that although 61% of the exporting business park in Costa Rica is led by women (owners, JD members and general management), only in 27% of the exporting companies are women the main owner.
Female leadership is present in particular in micro and medium-sized companies and in sectors such as pharmaceutical chemicals and it is possible to show that when there is female leadership, there are greater policies implemented on issues of sexual harassment and paternity leave and that companies led by women impart training on issues of equity and non-discrimination by sex more frequently. In the positions held by women, better strategic processes, a greater ability to attract and retain talent, and more productivity s
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