There's change brewing across Bolivia as women get the financing, support and training they need to open their own convenience stores, thanks to a joint initiative from our
local Paceña beer brand, national retail chain TiendasYa!, and Pro Mujer IFD
In Bolivia, where most business is conducted informally, the program makes it possible to own a legal, responsible franchise operation, backed by recognized and respected
local brands. It also creates a pathway for women to become financially independent,
which is still a challenge for female entrepreneurs.
“We believe that given access to the right opportunities, women can become powerful
agents of change for themselves and build stronger communities,” said Jorge Fernando
Delius, Co-founder and CEO of TiendasYa! Bolivia.
TiendasYa! is a Bolivian convenience store chain backed by ZX Ventures that launched in 2016 and specializes in affordable beer and related products. After seeing the success of the women-led franchise model used by Modelorama retailers in Mexico, TiendasYa! adopted a similar approach.
Soon after, opportunity came knocking for Silvia Choque, a single mother working as a TiendasYa! cashier in La Paz, when she was approached about opening her own shop in 2019.
“I wanted to earn a little more to be able to support myself and my son,” she says.
“Without thinking twice, I joined the company. TiendasYa! has given me the opportunity
to grow, develop and do what I like.”
As part of the initiative, Pro Mujer IFD Foundation offers store owners single signature loans, credit, simple requirements and personalized help from
expert advisors in microfinance.
With the financial support, as well as business and management training, Silvia has steadily increased her income and built a thriving local store. “I'm improving
my quality of life,” says Silvia. “It's been really good for me.”
Paceña, the popular local beer brand from our Bolivian brewer, CBN (Cervecería Boliviana Nacional), is providing financial backing for the program. It expands on the brand's ongoing partnership with ProMujer, a local organization that advances gender equality and women's economic empowerment across the country.
Now with more than 100 stores in five states, the goal is to have 60% of TiendasYa! stores in Bolivia operated by women by the end of 2022.
“Our dream is to bring stability and success to women in every neighborhood of Bolivia,” said Paceña Brand Manager, Ricardo Cuellar.