Bogota, Colombia, May 7, 2020 – Accion has received a grant from FedEx to support the expansion of Ovante, a fully digital platform that aims to strengthen the management, financial and digital capabilities of microentrepreneurs, ultimately supporting their livelihoods, families, and communities. Ovante leverages Accion’s decades of experience providing financial skills training and education in Latin America and India, as well as principles of human-centered design, to offer practical tools that incentivize behavior change and help microentrepreneurs thrive in a competitive and digital world.
With support from FedEx, Accion Global Advisory Solutions piloted the platform in Colombia where a large portion of the population is self-employed or employed in the informal sector where many microenterprises operate. To date, it has reached 15,000 microentrepreneurs, more than 80% of whom are women. These additional funds will support the expansion of Ovante into other Latin American countries — beginning with Paraguay and El Salvador, and the development of a similar platform in India.
“It is more important than ever to ensure that microentrepreneurs have the skills they need to build successful microenterprises and support economic livelihoods,” said Michael Schlein, President and CEO of Accion. “Ovante’s digital format allows us to address this need while closing the digital literacy gap for users – more than 90% of whom are having a digital experience for the first time. We’re grateful for FedEx’s support and their shared commitment to empowering underserved entrepreneurs.”
“Our support of Accion’s Ovante program is one of many FedEx investments in the area of Global Entrepreneurship,” said Adrian Pomi, Director of Global Citizenship at FedEx. “Our objective in that area is to advance women and minority-owned small businesses globally, helping them access new markets and grow. We’re very pleased with the program’s progress and honored to play a role in helping these entrepreneurs achieve success.”
“By delivering relevant content at the right time through a user-friendly experience, we are seeing Ovante make a real difference in the lives of its users. After a successful launch in Colombia, we are excited to bring this model to new countries and regions, tailoring it to the specific needs of microentrepreneurs in each market,” said Liza Guzman, Vice President of Customer Strategy at Accion Global Advisory Solutions. The advisory services team at Accion combines decades of on-the-ground experience working with financially underserved individuals with insights into new technologies.
In December 2019, the Austrian nonprofit International Center for New Media honored Ovante with a 2019 World Summit Award, its initiative that promotes digital innovation with social impact.
Accion is a global nonprofit committed to creating a financially inclusive world, with a pioneering legacy in microfinance and fintech impact investing. We catalyze financial service providers to deliver high-quality, affordable solutions at scale for the three billion people who are left out of—or poorly served by—the financial sector. For more than 50 years, Accion has helped tens of millions of people through our work with more than 110 partners in 50 countries. More at www.accion.org.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenue of $70 billion, the company offers integrated business solutions through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 475,000 team members to remain focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. To learn more about how FedEx connects people and possibilities around the world, please visit about.fedex.com.