Accelerate Women Now is both a celebration and a call to action: a unified effort to support and help scale women entrepreneurs in Latin America who are solving social and environmental problems through their business. Agora Women's Scholarship Fund is the component of the campaign, and will provide financial assistance for women entrepreneurs to participate in Agora's Impact Accelerator, which connects high-potential entrepreneurs with the knowledge, networks and capital they need to succeed.
Women throughout Latin American societies have been tremendously marginalized. They have fewer educational opportunities than men and live in one of the poorest regions in the world plagued by inequality and increasing violence. According to the World Bank, the average income per capita in Latin America is just under $3,000; in some regions, it is as low as $1,000. The best way to tackle these problems is to support the incredible potential of the region's most dynamic entrepreneurs.
AWN will clearly illustrate that women have a significant impact in alleviating poverty and increasing opportunity. Latin America is particularly relevant opportunity in making this case: In 2007, working women cut the poverty rate for two-parent households from 40 percent to 26 percent. In addition, the World Bank has noted that an "increase in women's labor-force participation and earnings are associated with reduced poverty and faster economic growth."
A country's GDP can be expected to rise by 3% when 10% more girls go to school. The International Planned Parenthood Foundation reports that women, on average, reinvest up to 90 percent of their incomes back into their households, compared to only 30-40% reinvested by men. Statistics like these illustrate the critical importance of accelerating the most dynamic women to help alleviate the problems within the region. AWN will help to bring to reality this past level of success in Latin America.