Looking for more information in Spanish? Please visit our partner Sikanda’s webpage here.

The southern state of Oaxaca is one of the poorest and most marginalised in Mexico, with two thirds of the population living in poverty, and just 45% having completed high school education. In the municipality of Villa de Zaachila, where the Mujeres AVE project is based, the community is particularly marginalised. It is home to one of the largest landfills in the state, receiving close to 1,000 tons of waste a day which has enormous environmental, social and economic impacts on the immediate surrounding area, and the 17,000 people who live, work and study here. 82 per cent of homes in this area lack basic services like running water, sewage and electricity.

Following a needs assessment completed in 2018, thanks to the generous support of the Trafigura Foundation and in partnership with Solidaridad Internacional Kanda A.C. (SiKanda),we will establish an entrepreneurial one stop shop. This will offer a suite of holistic services to 300 marginalized women entrepreneurs to become successful business women and have greater control over their lives.Our bundled services will include: tailored business skills training, coaching, counselling, peer-to-peer support, networking opportunities, and childcare support.

The name Mujeres A.V.E was selected by the women entrepreneurs participating in the programme. Mujeres translates to women and A.V.E stands for actuando, vinculando and emprendiendo  or acting, connecting, entrepreneurial. The name reflects how the project will bring women together and encapsulated for the entrepreneurs themselves the true nature of entrepreneurship.

We are thrilled to once more embark on a partnership with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women. Their extensive experience in women’s social and economic empowerment will prove crucial to unlocking the potential of women entrepreneurs and creating a prosperous future for this local community.

– Céline Yvon, Head of Programmes, Trafigura Foundation

The needs assessment found that one third of households in this community depend solely on a woman entrepreneur’s income to survive, while only 34% usually have enough money to pay their monthly expenses. Entrepreneurship offers an opportunity for these women to improve their livelihoods, and that of their families, but there are key gender challenges restricting women from developing and growing their business in this municipality. Our programme, which commenced in early 2019, aims to addresses these challenges so that these women can better manage their business, money and lives. Read our latest blog  to learn about the restrictions the women of Oaxaca face or browse our needs assessment summary.


Established in November 2007 as an independent philanthropic entity, the Trafigura Foundation provides long-term funding and expertise to improve socio-economic conditions of vulnerable communities around the world. The Foundation pursues this mission by supporting programmes in the fields of Fair and Sustainable Employmentand Clean and Safe Supply Chains.

The focus area Fair and Sustainable Employment promotes the creation of quality jobs and income generating opportunities for the most marginalised groups, with the ultimate aim of helping them live worthy, autonomous lives. With the focus on Clean and Safe Supply Chains the Foundation aims at mitigating the social and environmental issues related to the sourcing of commodities, transportation and waste disposal.

For more information visit www.trafigurafoundation.org

Solidaridad Internacional Kanda A.C. (SiKanda) is a non-profit organization based in Oaxaca, Mexico.  Created in 2009, SiKanda supports and facilitates participatory processes towards sustainable local development. Our conviction is that trough awareness, co-responsibility  and collaboration across distinct sectors of society, both national and international, we can bring about a more just and equal world. We work with children, youth and adults promoting social inclusion and cohesion from a gender, human rights, intercultural and intergenerational perspective.

Our program “Roads to Equality” focuses on gender equality, empowerment and social justice. Through collaborative actions with women living around the largest dumpsite in the state of Oaxaca, we aim to strengthen local capabilities for the advancement of women’s rights, equal opportunities and economic development.

More information at www.sikanda.org  info@sikanda.org   facebook.com/sikandaoax


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