The U.S. Embassy launches new program to support women business leaders

Daniel Sánchez-Bustamante, Director de la Agencia de los Estados Unidos para el Desarrollo Internacional (USAID) en el Ecuador, durante el lanzamiento del programa PODER.

With $2M in funding, the program will scale up the businesses of women from traditionally marginalized communities, through business training, mentoring, and access to a community of business networks. 

Quito, May 5, 2023. The United States Embassy in Ecuador today launches the Economic Reactivation for Women and SMEs (PODER) program that will support women entrepreneurs, especially those from traditionally marginalized communities, to maintain and grow their businesses. Our main motivation is to help these companies recover after the COVID pandemic. 

With $2,000,000 in funding, the program aims to build a more inclusive environment within Ecuador for small- to medium enterprises (SMEs) in which traditionally underserved women business leaders have access to training, growth, and empowerment. 

Michael J. Fitzpatrick, Ambassador of the United States in Ecuador, explained that “for the United States, supporting women entrepreneurs has a multiplier effect in the community, and in the long term strengthens economies and democracies. Supporting women and promoting inclusive economic development is a priority of the United States Government in our own country, in Ecuador, and throughout the region.” 

IMPAQTO is the implementing partner in Ecuador for this program. PODER will benefit women and their SMEs by promoting job creation, knowledge sharing workshops and improvement of family livelihoods. 

After the program, the participants will have been strengthened and empowered in their personal and professional lives enabling them to lead more resilient and sustainable companies that generate better livelihoods and contribute to the economy of Ecuador.

This new program joins other programs that the Government of the United States has implemented in Ecuador to train women entrepreneurs. For example, since 2017 more than 1,300 women have trained at our Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE). 

The United States is committed to continuing to be an advocate for gender equity and equality, and to the empowerment of women and girls in all their diversity, throughout the world. 

For more information on U.S. Embassy programs, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @USembassyEC, and visit our official website: