What Is It Like to Be a Female Entrepreneur in Guatemala?

What Is It Like to Be a Female Entrepreneur in Guatemala?



What Is It Like to Be a Female Entrepreneur in Guatemala?

Thursday was International Women’s Day. Women need to come together not only on this day but everyday. It is important to love yourself as a woman and all of the powerful women around you. Let’s support each other, be proud and show the beauty behind being a female!

HCM Lifestyle is going to share insight on what it is to be an international female entrepreneur in Guatemala. This will offer further inspiration and empowerment to all women (and men).



With the largest economy in Central America one may assume the economy of Guatemala is thriving. Unfortunately, this is not the case. In fact, the GDP per capita is $3,790 US. However, numerous economic development initiatives have been developed pertaining to entrepreneurs and small and medium sized enterprises.


What Is It Like to Be a Female Entrepreneur in Guatemala?

Guatemalan Women

Political and economic opportunities present difficulties due to current and historical walls and lack of gender equality. For example, women who work in agriculture are regarded as unpaid family workers and day labourers. As agricultural is a leading industry in Guatemala, this equates to many women providing fruits of labour for the country while being left with little compensation.


Additionally, women have limited access to property ownership which makes it difficult to acquire credit. Furthermore, farmer groups and cooperatives do not recognize gender equality in regards to decision-making and access to information, markets and inputs. Therefore, in order to overcome some of these impediments, women have formed female-only commercial agriculture groups. However, with less experience and resources, difficulties arise for success..

Although these obstacles are presented, this has not stopped many driven and confident women from reaching entrepreneurial success.

As an overview, 19.3% of the Guatemalan adult population is engaged in some type of entrepreneurial activity, many revolving around consumption and retail activities. Of the entrepreneurs in Guatemala, 55% are between the ages of 18-35, have little formal education and the majority are women.


Opportunities for Women in Guatemala

A particular area of opportunity for Guatemalan female entrepreneurs is cooperatives showcasing talents in weaving, jewellery-making and fabrics. An example includes Fair Anita. Fair Anita is a cooperative empowering women in over sixteen countries with jobs and fair trade relationships. They aim to sell fair products while paying 3x the minimum wage of these impoverished countries and ensuring the women have access to necessary resources. Guatemala has been a partner since 2015 and has helped women showcase their talents and earn a fair income.


What Is It Like to Be a Female Entrepreneur in Guatemala?


An additional opportunity for female entrepreneurs in Guatemala is the Women Empowerment Initiative. WE is part of  Project Concern International. PCI has worked with impoverished communities around the world for over fifty years to lift these communities out of poverty and cultivate a healthy life for themselves and their families. The WE has created 94 groups within Guatemala and has provided economic, social and political empowerment to roughly 2,000 women in the municipalities of Guatemala.

The aim of WE is to encourage financial savings and management of small businesses while increasing women’s involvement in decision-making and community leadership. To date there has been $24,190 USD in savings and 494 small loans made to members. Of these small loans, 74% have been used for productive activities enabling the women to increase their income and supporting the economic development of their communities.

Opportunities for Youth

Lastly, hope and excitement is granted to young girls (and boys) who have dreams of opening their own business. Programs such as the Young Americas Business Trust, promote social and economic development of young people. They provide leadership, training, technology, developing alliances and access to resources. Additionally, universities in Guatemala have clubs such as Enactus that take part in projects to spur creative and entrepreneurial drive.

What Is It Like to Be a Female Entrepreneur in Guatemala?

Furthermore, Teach a Man to Fish, (do not let the name dissuade), provides school based business and skill training. Schools allow students to run their own profit-making businesses. These school enterprises include activities such as beekeeping and carpentry. Schools  earn money to cover operating expenses and students earn money.

“Most young people in poorer countries end up working for themselves, but mostly they’re never taught how to succeed in business.”

              -Teach A Man to Fish

Through these aforementioned youth programs, the up-and-coming generations of Guatemala will feel confident and equipped to succeed in entrepreneurial endeavours and in life.

Young, Old, Female or Male- Everyone Can Succeed

What Is It Like to Be a Female Entrepreneur in Guatemala?


Therefore, whether young, old, male or female, Guatemala is a country that presents entrepreneurial trials but more importantly, entrepreneurial tribulations. As a developing nation, there is potential for foreign and local cooperatives to work alongside entrepreneurs to bring their unique Guatemalan resources and skills to the market. An entrepreneurial spirit is bright and lush and has the potential to make an everlasting impact like the Mayan ruins, so let us observe and then assist the creative minds of the Guatemalan society come to light.

Inspiration from HCM Lifestyle

HCM Lifestyle is sharing inspiring personal stories and entrepreneurs. If you are an entrepreneur or have a personal story, please share your message to help others. Thank you for being part of the HCM Lifestyle journey. So please connect with us on Instagram @hcmlifestyle, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr and be with us every step of the way.

Let’s be inspiring men and women everyday!

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