What solution(s) does your initiative address to help emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses grow and thrive in underserved communities? (select all applicable)
Access to financing, Access to talent, Access to supply chains, Access to technology, Access to economic opportunity.
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
Since 2008, CREA has worked with close to 800 women in Zacatecas and has started to expand into three new states, and our programs have benefited them and their families, reaching over 2,500 people. In Zacatecas, where CREA began activities, 90% of microenterprises fail in the first year. CREA reverts the average rate of failure among microentrepreneurs, allowing 90% of women to become successful entrepreneurs. Through the impact evaluation that Stanford has been conducting with CREA, we have found large, positive and statistically significant effects of these workshops on revenues, number of clients and profits as well as formal accounting practices. For example, 77% of the women CREA works with were not using any accounting method and now 80% of the women who participated in CREA’s applied business skills workshops utilized formal accounting procedures after the workshops, and on average participants experienced an earnings increase of 50%.
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
In three years we expect to reach over 6,000 direct beneficiaries and to have created over 4,000 new employment opportunities. Since the beginning we have conducted qualitative and quantitative evaluations as well as internal evaluations and reviews. This includes metrics around the performance of the women and the impact of our programs as well as qualitative data around satisfaction and self-esteem of our participants. We also have several indicators that look at the quality of life of the women we work with. Finally, it is important to note that through this mix of qualitative and quantitative surveys, we look not just at the number of jobs created but the quality of these jobs, both amongst our beneficiary microenterprises as well as internally though the jobs CREA generates.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
In general, women microentrepreneurs do not attach value to business training & consulting since they have never had access to them. However, initially we had the great luck to find some microentrepreneurs that trusted CREA and who became our success stories, showing our programs' impact & thanks to several awards we’ve received, women now approach us. The lack of communication between women about their businesses has been difficult to overcome, because they don't see the benefits of collaborating & sharing information about useful programs and services. Our success stories are based on collaborative solutions to shared problems that foster new dynamics between the women. Also, in sustainable phase entrepreneurs like Rita are donating to CREA & becoming active collaborators & partners.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
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