Support Rural Business Entrepreneurial Potential Through Gender Lenses


Open to all RPCVs

Activity/project background

Among the activities carried out by FONCODES there is a project called "Haku Wiñay / Noa Jayatai" (which means ‘We will grow’ in the local languages quechua and Shipibo). This projects aims to develop entrepreneurial capacities and skills in order to increase and diversify sustainable autonomous income of household members in situations of poverty and extreme poverty living in the rural populated areas of the mountains and jungle of Peru.

One of the strategies of the 'Haku Wiñay / Noa Jayatai' project is to promote the development of entrepreneurship in order to improve the economic activity, generate added value, and integrate local economies. In this strategy, entrepreneurship has been implemented with a greater presence of women and, in some cases, it is them who lead these businesses.

However, these entrepreneurial endeavors have not taken into consideration the relations of equity that must exist between men and women. The participants of these projects (men and women) receive technical assistance in the productive, economic, and marketing aspects; however, other aspects such as planning, decision-making, leadership, distribution of tasks, are carried out without taking into account the adequate assignment of roles that both men and women assume in said processes, nor do they recognize the gender stereotypes that exist in their communities, which can affect their lives and the development of their business. By incorporating gender lenses into rural entrepreneurship development, businesses will continue to grow and female entrepreneurs, specifically, will be empowered.

The Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) will provide support in the training (1) of staff in charge of projects management, (2) members of the selected entrepreneurships and, (3) the staff of Territorial Units of FONCODES. The purpose of these trainings is for these personnel to be able to recognize and value the importance of incorporating gender lenses into a productive project. They also aim to be able to use instruments to improve the relationships and roles that women and men play in technology transfer and articulation to the market processes of the selected entrepreneurial endeavors. This will allow for more efficient ventures, integrating female entrepreneurs in the decision-making process of running a business.

Virtual service engagement and tasks

The VSPP and the Host Country Partner will focus on the following tasks:
• Co-develop and conduct an assessment of the selected entrepreneurship groups, in order to identify the possibilities of improving their gender dynamics
• Co-design an awareness workshop about gender issues and incorporate gender lenses into entrepreneurships for project staff and for selected project leaders
• Identify and co-prepare materials and resources for the workshop
• Co-train participants to be able to recognize and value the importance of incorporating the gender perspective into a productive project
• Co-train participants to use instruments to improve the relationships and roles that women and men play in technology transfer and articulation to market processes of the selected entrepreneurial endeavors

This engagement is expected to be approximately 27 weeks. VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week.
• Meetings between VSPPs and Host Country Counterparts will take place during normal office hours, 8:00 am to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.
• Activities will take place between 8:00 am and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom and Google Meet for regular communication and collaboration.

Per the Child Protection Code of Conduct, when engaging online with minors (0-18), two adults must be present.

Optional additional activities

The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Goal 1 will be achieved through the VSPP's engagement and completion of the above tasks. The counterpart and VSPP may also choose to identify an activity that aligns with Goal 2. Additionally, the VSPP may identify a Goal 3 activity to implement during their engagement. See recommendations and tools for Goal 3 activities.

Essential qualifications

Education: Bachelor’s degree in any field

Language: Advanced level of written and spoken Spanish

• Previous experience working on community economic development projects in rural communities
• Experience with adult learning and facilitation methodologies

Intercultural skills and motivation: Flexible, strong cross-cultural agility, high tolerance for ambiguity, able to work independently, resourceful, creative, and genuinely motivated and capable to serve virtually

Desired qualifications

Education: Master’s degree in development, management, business management or a related field

Technical Skills: Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

• Experience operating a small business and/or providing technical assistance to/ mentoring small business owners or rural entrepreneurs
• Experience conducting gender analysis or integrating gender transformative approaches into programs
• Knowledge of gender equality
• Experience strengthening, planning and/or executing social assistance programs or programs that support vulnerable populations
• Work, volunteer, or academic experience in Latin America

Partner background

Name: FONCODES (Cooperation Fund for Social Development)

Type of entity: Government

Mission and goals:

The Cooperation Fund for Social Development (FONCODES) is a national Social program, attached to the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion (MIDIS) that promotes sustainable economic autonomy and social development of the population living in poverty, extreme poverty, vulnerability or exclusion, in rural and/or urban areas. It does so by generating economic opportunities through programs and development projects, economic and social infrastructure, and other special projects in alliance with the different public and private entities committed to local development.

Specific objectives:
• To develop productive and entrepreneurial management capacities/skills in members of households in situation of poverty, extreme poverty, vulnerability or exclusion
• To develop social, economic and productive infrastructure aimed at facilitating the generation of economic opportunities and social development.
• To promote the participation of local actors to contribute to the generation of economic opportunities and social development as well as the articulation with other sectors.

Terms and conditions of engagement

VSPPs will be engaging with the host country partner, in coordination with Peace Corps post staff, remotely from the US. They should have access to a computer, internet, and telephone in order to enable direct engagement with the Peace Corps overseas office and the Host Country Counterpart assigned by the host country partner.

Orientation with the host country partner will be provided, within the designated virtual service hours, during the first week of virtual service via an online presentation and discussion. The host country partner will provide an overview of its organization, the local context, and how they envision collaborating with the VSPP.

The VSPP will have regular check-ins with their counterpart and bi-weekly check-ins with Peace Corps staff. Spending unstructured time with counterparts can be critical to relationship-building and is encouraged through activities such as coffee chats and informal calls within the weekly 5-15 hours.

Engagement-specific safety and security

The VSPP will receive an orientation on Peace Corps’ Child Protection Policy and how it relates to online engagement along with IT security best practices. The VSPP will be expected to follow safety and security guidelines for online engagement to ensure their safety and that of the Host Country Partner and their counterpart, and any beneficiaries of the engagement.

Supervision requirements

The VSPP will report to a designated Peace Corps staff member. The VSPP will be expected to abide by the Virtual Service Pilot Participant and Donation Agreement and Participant Principles of Engagement. The VSPP will also be expected to check in with the designated host country counterpart as assigned by the host county partner.

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