With the goal of boosting businesses owned by Venezuelan and Ecuadorian entrepreneurs participating in the Economic Inclusion Project (EIP), World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and USAID partnered with Visa to create "Enko"—a free, virtual business training platform accessible from any mobile device.
Through short videos, illustrations and interactive activities that take just 15 minutes per lesson, Enko offers training on business administration, personal growth, finances, marketing and sales.
WOCCU EIP, USAID and Visa hosted an August 23 launch event to introduce Enko's platform and functions to entrepreneurs and different types of institutions in Ecuador.
Óscar Guzmán, EIP Chief of Party, told attendees that Enko joins two other virtual tools that have been created by USAID and WOCCU—“HOPE” and “Yo Decido: Mi futuro y mis finanzas” (I Decide: My future, my finances)—to meet the new virtual reality accelerated by the pandemic.
The collaborative effort to create Enko shows the importance of a generation of strategic alliances in strengthening entrepreneurship, according to Carlos Corominas, Head of Inclusive Impact and Sustainability for Visa LAC Region.
“It is true that the label Visa is all over the world, but we always require the help of other institutions to reach the final users, such as WOCCU today, that is bringing entrepreneurs all these benefits to make your businesses grow,” said Corominas.
The event also featured a panel discussion on the significance of virtual training programs to enhance economic inclusion opportunities in Ecuador, which included representatives from the Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investments and Fishing, the Superintendence of the Popular and Solidarity Economy and the Central Bank of Ecuador.
“Time is fundamental. Saving time for people is what digital tools offer us. In this way, tools like Enko are strategic in making a difference for entrepreneurs,” said Margarita Hernandez, Superintendent of the Popular and Solidarity Economy.
EIP participants who have used the platform also spoke about its functionality.
“With this wonderful platform called Enko, I could refresh and reinforce all the knowledge that we must consider to carry out an entrepreneurial idea, Now, I am ready to take my business to the next level,” said Sorelys Henríquez, a Venezuelan entrepreneur in Ecuador who participates in the Economic Inclusion Project.
Hugo Ramos, Project Specialist for USAID Ecuador, said Enko serves as an example of the United States government’s commitment to work on such collaborations in order to improve the quality of life for migrants and refugees.
“Having access to a platform in your hands through a mobile phone has a huge impact and multiplies the capacities of people, which grow with every single learning experience,” said Ramos .
Through Enko, USAID and WOCCU are providing one more option to facilitate the growth and sustainability of more than 7,300 Venezuelans and low-income locals in Peru and Ecuador that have already developed their businesses through the Economic Inclusion Project, generating new economic opportunities for their families and communities each day.