Home Live trainings In Mexico, online business training helps women entrepreneurs grow their businesses | D+C

In Mexico, online business training helps women entrepreneurs grow their businesses | D+C


In Mexico, more women-led businesses gained access to financial inclusion opportunities. The collaborative business development trainings provided by digital networks have made this possible. An example is “Virtual Mati”.

At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses in many parts of the country faced challenges in their operations. Women-led businesses have suffered the most because many women lack access to the digital networks and technologies that would allow them to operate when human contact was restricted. Several gender-focused institutions have since focused on the digital inclusion of female entrepreneurs.

Corporativa de Fundaciones, a community foundation in western Mexico, has designed an online program called “Mati virtual” to provide business training to women entrepreneurs in Jalisco and other states. The program aims to broaden the business vision of entrepreneurs, increase profits and expand the market beyond the physical context. Participants learn strategies for reaching a customer online.

Mati has helped many entrepreneurs like Quetzali from Oaxaca in southern Mexico: “All my sales are done through the Internet. I’ve sold in multiple places and created all of my social media content myself. Before Mati, she didn’t know how to sell. She learned distribution strategies online, she says.

In addition to training, Mati encourages entrepreneurs to collaborate and share ideas. Xochitl, who owns a food company, says that on Mati, she began to surround herself with “like-minded people who want to get ahead in life”.

“We are part of a WhatsApp group called Tribu Mati (Mati Tribe) and on Wednesdays we share good news and get to know more women from all over the country who are also entrepreneurs,” says Quetzali. Entrepreneurs meet digitally through Zoom sessions. “On this platform, I discovered that there are many women like me who are entrepreneurs and have families.”

Mati’s coordinator, Marisa Orozco, agrees that learning to use and manage communication and information technologies offers women a range of options to consolidate and grow their businesses. Since 2020, Mati virtual has graduated 112 women in four classes from 12 states. This is in addition to the other 75 women who have graduated from the on-site program since 2015.

Nearly 160 graduates of the Mati program across the country are on Tribu Mati. Marisa Orozco says the participants “support each other”.

Mayra, who owns a bakery in Zapopan, western Mexico, says digital marketing helped her during the height of the pandemic to keep her business afloat. She uses social media to follow market trends and customer needs. “What I use a lot is Facebook and WhatsApp, but Google has worked really well for me too,” she says.

However, women must have access to a mobile phone, the Internet, electronic media and have basic computer skills to use digital networks. Women from disadvantaged backgrounds are thus excluded. As such, programs like Mati are generally limited to women who live in or near the metropolitan areas of the country’s largest cities.

Pamela Cruz is the Special Projects Coordinator at Comunalia, a network of community foundations in Mexico and a Strategic Advisor at MY World Mexico.

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