Peru

Population: 
30,769,077
Number of Business Networks: 9
Number of Private Sector Initiatives: 17
Number of Government Services: 7
Labor Force Participation Rate: 
69

Introduction

Peru is considered one of the strongest environments for women entrepreneurs in Latin America. More...

Peru is considered one of the strongest environments for women entrepreneurs in Latin America. This dynamism can be attributed to Peru’s great strides toward stabilizing the economy after decades of conflict, reducing and streamlining the process for starting a business, and making credit more accessible for all entrepreneurs. Peru’s ranking of 35th out of 189 economies surveyed in the World Bank’s Doing Business report for 2015 is the second highest in Latin America, after Colombia, and an improvement over its ranking of 71st in 2006. Peru has significantly reduced its rate of poverty in recent years, from 55.6 percent in 2005 to 23.9 percent in 2013. While there are still improvements to be made—such as through providing better access to training and higher education opportunities—Peru has a solid foundation to continue to reduce poverty and expand its economy, including through its commitment to supporting enterprises started and managed by both men and women.

As in other Latin American economies, Peruvian women face the double and triple burdens of parenting, caregiving, and earning money outside the home. Peruvian women (ages 15–64) participate in the economy at a rate of 69 percent, significantly above the average women for Latin America (58 percent). Men’s rate of participation was 87 percent in 2013, according to the World Bank.

Many services for entrepreneurs in Peru are targeted at women starting micro or small businesses. Among the economy’s 40 microfinance institutions, many target women for their programs: in fact, women made up the majority (52 percent) of microfinance borrowers in 2012. Among traditional banking institutions, women and men in Peru have approximately equal access to loans, with 12.4 percent of women and 13.2 percent of men holding a loan, according to the Global Findex.

The WEVentureScope report, a review of conditions that support women entrepreneurs in Latin America, ranks Peru second out of 20 Latin American economies it surveyed in 2013. According to the report, the desire to start a business is high in Peru—43.6 percent of men and 40.6 percent of women said they wanted to start a business. The desire does not often translate into ability to start a business, however. The GEM Peru report from 2012 found that 17.6 percent of women were entrepreneurs in Peru, compared with 22.6 percent of men. Women entrepreneurs were mostly concentrated in the consumer sector, with 82 percent of women entrepreneurs opening a business in consumer goods, versus 57 percent for men. Not surprisingly, the concentration in the consumer sector results in women’s businesses employing fewer people: women typically employ five employees or fewer, while men employ 20 employees or more. Part of the problem may be that while there are some business networks and training programs for women, there are not enough of them to reach every woman who is interested.

Many, but not all, of the networks and associations for women entrepreneurs specifically target micro and small women entrepreneurs, with the central goal of poverty alleviation. As Peru continues to grow as an economy, there will be demand for more services that target the needs of medium and larger businesses, women-owned or not. The economy especially needs investment in amounts greater than $250,000, so that companies can grow and embrace innovation opportunities. As of 2015, there were only a reported 10 angel investors in all of Peru.

The government of Peru and private actors are addressing this gap. Since 2010, there has been significant focus on start-ups, particularly for technology-oriented businesses. Startup Peru, modeled on Chile’s successful example, had its first call for submissions in October 2014. A number of initiatives—Wayra, Lima Valley, and Startup Peru—have focused on growing business ideas, particularly in technology and innovation, at the startup phase. Peru has a significant degree of IT talent, and its location near Chile and Colombia could result in access to larger markets than just the domestic market.

As detailed in this section, Peru offers some best practices for the development of female entrepreneurs—in particular through access to finance and ease of creating a business—while also displaying potential to expand business networks that reach women entrepreneurs at the medium and large business size. 

Peru has a number of networks and associations of women entrepreneurs throughout the economy and focus particularly on Lima and the larger cities in Peru. These groups are active in holding events and connecting their members to potential suppliers and buyers, and connecting with each other. 

Networks that support women’s access to capital and assets: 

No information available. Contact us if you know of a network that fits this criteria.

Networks that support women’s access to markets: 

The Commission for the Development of Women Entrepreneurs has partnered with the Multilateral Investment Fund on its WEEmpower initiative, which promotes and supports women’s entrepreneurship...more

Networks that support strengthened capacity and skills for women in business: 

Founded in 2009, AMEP is a networking and capacity-building organization for women entrepreneurs. AMEP works to increase the visibility of women’s contribution to the Peruvian economy and advocates for policies that promote equal opportunities for men and women in...more

(Association of Women Executive of Tourist Enterprises). While AFEET’s major mission is to combat the exploitation of children in tourism, the association also offers women business owners in the tourism industry networking and training opportunities. Tourism is an...more

OWIT-Peru brings together over 200 women entrepreneurs, executives, and professionals development of women-owned businesses in Peru. Established in 1998, the organization aims to foster personal growth in women in order for them to become leaders in society. OWIT Peru...more

(Union of Women Entrepreneurs of Peru). With 24 chapters throughout Peru, UMEP is an organization of women entrepreneurs that focuses on networking and advocacy for women entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises. Many of UMEP’s activities revolve around exhibitions...more

Networks that support women’s leadership, voice and agency: 

(National Network for the Promotion of Women). Founded in 1990, RNPM has long focused on women’s political participation, women in the workforce, women’s health and education, and gender-based violence. It has 25 departmental offices and 21 provincial offices across Peru...more

Founded in 1997, WIPO is a peer advisory organization focused on building the skills and acceptance of women business leaders. WPO emphasizes training and continuing education for women who are already successful entrepreneurs. Members of WPO include women presidents and...more

Networks that support women and innovation and technology: 

Started in 2013, Women in Technology encourages women’s participation in technology and the technology-based entrepreneurial ecosystem. The group has organized events 15 events since the launch, with over 350 attendees. As of 2014, WIT has...more

Peru has a significant number of private-sector initiatives targeted at women or at entrepreneurship. Many of the initiatives are long-standing activities in Peru, most with poverty alleviation or microfinance-focused programs with locations throughout the economy. Many have a proven track-record of supporting entrepreneurs in handicrafts, localized retail and food preparation. There are also many new entrants focused on project start up, like Wayra, Startup Grind, and Startup Weekend that focus on high growth business ideas and technology and innovation in particular. While most of these do not target women directly, women may participate. One potential area of growth may be more direct targeting of women in the innovation and technology sectors and ensuring that women entrepreneurs are included on their management teams and as advisers. Unlike in other economies, there are few companies, apart from Freeport McMoRan, that have programs targeted at women or women-owned businesses. This presents a potential opportunity for private companies to highlight managerial and entrepreneurial women in Peru. 

Initiatives that support women’s access to capital and assets: 

The Global Women Entrepreneur Leaders (GWEL) Scorecard, sponsored by Dell Inc. and produced by ACG Inc., is a new data driven diagnostic tool that identifies the impediments to high impact female entrepreneurship and introduces actionable steps that can be taken to...more

Among Peru’s at least 40 MFIs, many support women micro- and small entrepreneurs’ access to credit with targeted programs and training, with a particular focus on poverty alleviation. The following microfinance programs are highlighted due to the availability of...more

Self-described as the first angel investor network in Peru, the Peru Capital Network connects companies with high growth potential with Network members. PCN has 15 members that have invested between US$20,...more

(Promoting Women and the Community). PROMUC is a consortium of 14 microfinance institutions  present in 20 departments and 12 regions of Peru. It offers training and technical assistance to women through the...more

Initiatives that support women’s access to markets: 

The Global Women Entrepreneur Leaders (GWEL) Scorecard, sponsored by Dell Inc. and produced by ACG Inc., is a new data driven diagnostic tool that identifies the impediments to high impact female entrepreneurship and introduces actionable steps that can be taken to...more

WEConnect International in Peru identifies, educates, registers, and certifies women's business enterprises that are at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by one or more women.  In Peru, WEConnect International is working with Market Connections to support and...more

Initiatives that support strengthened capacity and skills for women in business: 

(Integrated Development Collective). CID is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that focuses on current and potential entrepreneurs. CID develops programs that provide training, guidance, and technical assistance to entrepreneurs, and in particular low-income youth...more

With support from Freeport-McMoRan Inc., a mining company present in Arequipa, Thunderbird for Good and the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University developed DreamBuilder: The Women’s Business Creator. This cloud-based program guides...more

Started in 2008 by the Instituto Invertir, a Peruvian nonprofit with a mission to promote entrepreneurship, and implemented in partnership with the...more

An initiative of the Inter-American Investment Corporation, FINPYME performs diagnostic reviews of SMEs to assess their current competitiveness. FINPYME Mujer...more

(Women Waging for the Future).  An initiative that provides low-income women in and around Lima with entrepreneurial training, Mujeres Emprendiendo is funded by the Citi Foundation and Citi Peru in partnership with Aprenda, a...more

A nonprofit organization formed to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in youth, PROPIDE focuses especially on low-income people. PROBIDE’s Creer...more

Begun in 2010, Startup Grind is an international networking community formed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs through regular events. As of 2015, Peru hosts two chapters of Startup Grind – in Lima and Arequipa – both started in October 2014. Through meetup....more

Associated with the international Startup Weekend nonprofit, Startup Weekend Lima is a 54-hour event where idea developers, marketers, and designers, among others, come together to form teams to grow business ideas and start up new companies. Attendees make pitches on...more

WEConnect International in Peru identifies, educates, registers, and certifies women's business enterprises that are at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by one or more women.  In Peru, WEConnect International is working with Market Connections to support and...more

Initiatives that support women’s leadership, voice and agency: 

The Global Women Entrepreneur Leaders (GWEL) Scorecard, sponsored by Dell Inc. and produced by ACG Inc., is a new data driven diagnostic tool that identifies the impediments to high impact female entrepreneurship and introduces actionable steps that can be taken to...more

The Center at the Universidad Catolica Centro de la Mujer conducts research on the issues surrounding the integration of women into business, with the goal of creating knowledge and tools to strengthen and develop the capacity of women in Peru. The Center’s wide range of...more

Initiatives that support women and innovation and technology: 

A nonprofit association founded in 2009, Lima Valley promotes innovation through technological entrepreneurship. Through networking, conferences, training programs, meetups, research, alliances and promotion of other entrepreneurship initiatives, Lima Valley promotes the...more

A startup accelerator for entrepreneurs with a business or idea that uses technology, Wayra is supported by telecom Telefónica. The group provides up to US$50,000 USD in funding, a workspace in the Wayra academy in Peru, and access to the global network of Wayra business...more

W@F is a nonprofit social venture and network of women entrepreneurs, leaders and technology entrepreneurs. W@F has a three-step mission to find women role models, fuel change through events and gatherings, and funds new ventures by connecting innovators and...more

While not necessarily targeted at women, Peru has a number of services that make it easier for entrepreneurs to start and expand their businesses. For example, the CreceMYPE portal, through the Ministry of Industry, assists potential and current entrepreneurs in developing business plans and obtaining licenses, as well as assisting businesses with fewer than 100 employees with additional training in quality control, productivity, and human resources to facilitate expansion. The portal also connects entrepreneurs to public procurements and to financial institutions offering loans to micro and small enterprises.

All these types of services create an environment where entrepreneurship is encouraged. Some innovation is also happening at the municipal level, as a number of municipal level governments have programs targeted at women, such as the Embark Women program implemented by the Municipality of Lima mentioned below.

The Ministerio de la Mujer y Poblaciones Vulnerables (MIMP—Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations) was established in 1996 and focuses on designing, promoting, and implementing public policies that support women and other populations that face discrimination. MIMP was establishing an Office of Promotion and Development of the Economic Empowerment of Women as of December 2014 as well as a Plan of Action for Women’s Economic Empowerment that will focus on ensuring women’s economic independence and will guide the activities of the MIMP. MIMP has been active in reforming the Law on Secured Transactions to better benefit women-owned micro and small businesses, which make up the majority of MSMEs in Peru, and which account for 99 percent of all businesses in Peru.

Services that support women’s access to capital and assets: 

(Development Bank of Peru). An autonomous entity funded by the Peruvian government, COFIDE provides medium- and long-term financing to companies and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which is key for women, given that they own or operate an estimated 40...more

Modeled after Startup Chile, Startup Peru is a business accelerator program established in 2013 by the Ministry of Industry to fund new, high-growth, and scalable innovation and technology companies, which have anticipated high annual growth. The program aims to fund...more

Services that support women’s access to markets: 

Offering services to all entrepreneurs and business, PROMPERU provides training—both in person and over the web—in exporting, international marketing, and business preparation needed for export. PROMPERU’s...more

Offering services to all entrepreneurs and business, PROMPERU provides training—both in person and over the web—in exporting, international marketing, and business preparation needed for export. PROMPERU’s...more

Services that support strengthened capacity and skills for women in business: 

(Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion). MIDIS’ main objective is to reduce poverty and to ensure that all Peruvians have the same opportunities, regardless of...more

(Ministry of Labor and Employment Promotion). Two entrepreneurship programs are offered by the Ministry of Labor that women are able to access. The Jovenes a la ...more

Created by legislative decree in 1998, FONDOEMPLEO finances projects to train workers and promote sustainable employment. Companies—particularly in the mining, energy, and telecommunications sectors, contribute to FONDOEMPLEO through profit sharing. FONDOEMPLEO holds...more

Services that support women’s leadership, voice and agency: 

No information available. Contact us if you know of a network that fits this criteria.

Services that support women and innovation and technology: 

No information available. Contact us if you know of a network that fits this criteria.