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Ignite in Peru

A group of Peruvian women stand together and smile outside under a large tree.


The Ignite project in Peru unleashes the power of growth-oriented entrepreneurs, contributing to a resilient and inclusive economy. The project is part of CARE’s global Ignite Program, in partnership with the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, which runs in Pakistan, Peru and Vietnam where there are large segments of unserved micro and small enterprises ready for investment. By partnering with local financial and non-financial service providers, Ignite opens up much-needed access to finance, technology, and networks and builds entrepreneurship capacity and skills.

A woman wearing a bright blue collared shirt smiles under a sign that says,

Who we are targeting

Over three years, the Ignite project will reach nearly 1 million entrepreneurs in Peru, accelerating the growth of 36,000 enterprises and impacting 208,000 entrepreneurs, their employees and family members. At least 50% of entrepreneurs will be women. The project focuses on entrepreneurs with less than 10 employees, who have been in business for at least two years.


Key Activities & Partners

Financiera Confianza

With Financiera Confianza, a leading microfinance institution serving 400,000 clients, focused on women’s financial inclusion.

Design and delivery of adapted financial products and services and consumer education to meet the needs of women-owned enterprises.

Fundacion Capital

With Fundacion Capital, a social enterprise improving the economic prospects of low-income people through digital technologies.

Delivery of wrap-around services: capacity and skills building, mentoring, digital tools, and access to networks. Includes an adapted financial literacy app that currently reaches 400,000 people across Latin America to be more relevant for entrepreneurs.


With Oliver, a fintech developing business and financial capacities through its digital services platform.

Via a new virtual training and technical assistance platform: design and deliver training on business management and digital skills; provide technical assistance and business coaching services.


Delivered by CARE, an international humanitarian and development organization — specialized in campaigns and a leader in economic inclusion.

Delivery of outreach campaigns addressing social and institutional barriers and promoting: digital solutions; adapted products and services and business networks for women-led enterprises.

The opportunity

Micro and small enterprises are the economic backbone of the Peruvian economy. In 2020, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) were responsible for 78.4% of the total formal employment of the country.1 MSMEs increase employment and reinvest in local communities. However, entrepreneurs — especially women — remain unserved or underserved by financial and non-financial service providers. Now is the time to act.


Meet Maria Elena

Name: Maria Elena Menacho García

Location: Trujillo, Peru

Business: Owns 2 jewelry stores

Monthly sales: US $5,000

Employees: 5

Trading: Since 2012

Aspiration: To switch from retail to wholesale

Needs: Financial capital to grow the business; digital skills to grow the business online


  1. Technical Report of the INEI (Peruvian Government Statistic and Informatic Institution), August 2020
  2. Financial Inclusive Report, Superintendencia de Banca y Seguros del Perú, 2019