Photo: Ilene Perlman / Oxfam America

WISE (Women In Small Entreprise)




Geographical focus

  • Guatemala (pilot phase)


  • Gender Mainstreaming

  • Standalone

Works in

  • Rural Contexts

  • Urban Contexts

WEE outcomes

  • Sustainalble access to appropriate finance.
  • Improved performance of women-run businesses
  • More empowered and influential women entrepreneurs
  • Women entrepreneurs perceived as positive role models and leaders
  • Policy environment improved to benefit women entrepreneurs

With an integrated investment and grant-funded model, WISE takes a gender lens approach supporting financial institutions in Guatemala to improve services to women-run small enterprises through a loan guarantee fund and specialized training, while offering coaching and peer-to-peer support for women entrepreneurs themselves. The ultimate aim of WISE is to gather evidence that informs the policy dialogue about women’s economic
exclusion and pushes for policy changes at national and global levels.


  • WEL methodology
  • WISE training and coaching methodologies delivered by partners


  • Supports women-led enterprises (individually or as cooperatives) with loans ranging from $5,000 to $50,000
    Works through local financial institutions.

  • Brings together experts in small-enterprise finance, gender justice, community development, market access and advocacy

  • Offers a services package that includes:

    • Financing for women-owned small enterprises
    • Gender-specific business training and coaching to improve skills and confidence
    • Celebration of the economic contributions of women
    • Advocacy efforts to promote changes in public and private policies favouring women’s empowerment