In the Northern Triangle — Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador — a combination of poverty and violence is driving mass migration to the United States. Nearly half of all residents in these countries earn less than US$5.50 per day, and more than 300,000 jobs have been lost due to the pandemic.
Digital and financial inclusion is a key focus area in the White House’s strategy to address mass migration. As a founding partner in Vice President Kamala Harris’ recent call to action to support economic development in the Northern Triangle, Accion recently announced a new commitment to support families and small businesses in the region and help address some of the root causes of migration.
Accion’s microfinance partners have been working in the region for nearly three decades, serving people and small businesses in communities without access to banks. Today, microfinance institutions reach 9 percent of the region’s population. With additional capital, investments in digital transformation, and strategic partnerships, these financial institutions aim to scale their efforts and help even more people expand their farms, build small businesses, and increase their incomes — empowering people to find economic opportunity at home.
During this session, we heard from leading financial institutions working to support micro and small businesses in the region and learn what they are doing today to enable vulnerable people to gain an economic foothold in their home countries. We explored the opportunities for leveraging new partnerships and technologies to expand this impact.
A Spanish recording is available below.
- Edgardo Perez, General Manager, Fundación Génesis Empresarial, Guatemala
- Julio Cesar Herbas, General Manager, Banco Popular, Honduras
- Luis Castillo, President, SAC Integral, El Salvador
- Introductory remarks: Fernando Maldonado, Team Lead, Digital Finance, USAID
- Moderator: Esteban Altschul, COO, Accion
- Remarks: Maria Camila Gomez, Vice President, Latin America Program Management, Accion