In Mexico there are more than 4 million SMEs and 60% of them are led by women. The closure of these businesses implies a reduction in income, jobs and economic activity that would impact the general economy.
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By Fiorella Fabbri, leader of Women @ in Google Mexico.
Although it is still early to start accounting for the ravages that the COVID-19 pandemic will leave in labor, social, economic and personal aspects, some of the challenges that we will have to address as a society are already beginning to be seen to guarantee a speedy economic recovery. Within these, we see an increase in the gender gap .
Women have been more impacted by the crisis and one of the aspects that has affected them the most is the reduction in their income level compared to that of men, either due to job loss, salary reduction or closure of their business. According to the World Bank, in Latin America, SMEs led by women are 11% more likely to close in the face of the crisis caused by COVID-19 than those led by men. In total, businesses led by women have a 40% probability of closing at this time.
This is not only an economic blow for the women involved, but for everyone in the country. In Mexico there are more than 4 million SMEs and 60% of them are led by women. The closure of these businesses implies a reduction in income, jobs and economic activity that would impact the general economy. Micro, small and medium enterprises represent 60% of the formal productive employment in the country.
What can be done to solve this problem? It is an effort on two fronts. On the side of female entrepreneurs and business directors, further training is required. Information from ECLAC reveals that the main difficulties experienced by women are the lack of business experience and training. Many women lack knowledge of business administration, marketing, and marketing.
At Google we have promoted more initiatives and tools to combat this challenge. Women (and whoever really wants to) can be trained in these topics for free through the Garage Digital website where there are online courses to run a business, use digital tools and reach more audiences; there is even a certification in digital marketing. We know that time is always a challenge for business owners, so we also created the Primer application, which has this type of training, but in a 5 or 10 minute format to learn in a short time from your mobile device. In addition, in March we launched a set of conferences through the YouTube channel of Google Latin America called Crece con Google en Casa para mujeres where we address issues of self-promotion, digital marketing, online security, among others, focused on meeting specific needs Women’s.
Finally, the other front of this effort is in supporting businesses led by women. Getting out of this crisis is something we cannot do alone, or with isolated efforts. It is a job that requires that we all help each other by contributing to move forward and leave this complex time in the past. Look at the businesses that say “led by women” when you are looking for a service or a product in the Google search engine or on the maps and give them a try. Also reach out to those female entrepreneurs who are looking to broaden their audience and help share their experiences. United we will get out of this complex moment faster.