USAID and WOCCU Introduce Two Virtual Platforms for Economic and Financial Sustainability in Ecuador
Launched through the Economic Inclusion Project, the tools focus on entrepreneurship and financial education with a perspective on gender
QUITO, Ecuador—With the objective of enhancing and facilitating the sustainability of the economic inclusion processes that credit unions, NGOs, public sector entities, universities and other organizations carry out, the Economic Inclusion Project (EIP), a USAID-funded activity implemented by World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), has created two distinct virtual platforms for mobile devices that are designed to benefit Venezuelan migrants and low-income locals in Ecuador and Peru.
The Economic Inclusion Project launched Herramienta Operativa de Planificación Empresarial (HOPE) as an operational tool that allows entrepreneurs to develop their business plans in a quick, dynamic and technical way, which gives concrete shape to the education they have received in EIP training programs. The platform is also aligned to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, allowing entrepreneurs to strengthen high impact strategies to achieve socially responsible and inclusive businesses.
The other platform, “Yo Decido: Mi Futuro y Mis Finanzas” (I decide: My future and my finances), was built based on the financial education methodology developed by WOCCU, which promotes reflexive learning. It is the first financial education program designed with a gender perspective, which empowers all people to make informed financial decisions and achieve financial independence.
An April 28 public launch event featured a presentation of these platforms to representatives of institutions ranging from Ecuador’s Superintendency of the Popular and Solidarity Economy (SEPS) to nonprofit organizations and public sector entities that work to support and strengthen economic inclusion. Beneficiaries and representatives of partner organizations that have used HOPE and Yo Decido also spoke to the functionality and usefulness of the platforms.
“These testimonies allow us to appreciate the valuable contribution of HOPE and Yo Decido to reinforce financial capacities of migrant populations. We are sure that these tools now being adopted by some partner organizations for their beneficiaries will be strengthened by increased access from more users,” said Hugo Ramos, USAID Project Specialist in Ecuador.
Margarita Hernández, Superintendent of the Popular and Solidarity Economy of Ecuador, said the platforms will continue to provide benefits moving forward.
“This virtuous mix that can result from joining these platforms with the stakeholders of the popular and solidarity financial sectors, in agreement with the principles of cooperativism, can have excellent results if we consider the potential that entrepreneurs have in the economic recovery,” said Hernández.
Through these platforms, USAID and WOCCU will contribute decisively to the development of the popular and solidarity financial sector, as well as to the growth of the more than 8,000 beneficiaries of the Economic Inclusion Projects’ business development and financial education programs.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 90 countries. Worldwide, 86,451 credit unions in 118 countries serve 375 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.