Financial Education

Financial Education for Women and Youth in Latin America

In collaboration with Pro Mujer, Aliança Emprendedora, and Junior Achievement Américas, Mercado Pago is promoting female entrepreneurship and supporting financial education for young people.

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Mercado Pago is promoting female entrepreneurship and supporting financial education for young people.

We are constantly thinking of new ways to strengthen financial inclusion and the democratization of money in Latin America. Year after year, we break down knowledge barriers and act as a gateway to information, enabling more and more people to grow. Recognizing that achieving systemic and sustainable change requires fundamental training, we understand that it empowers people to make informed decisions about their own economy as well as that of their businesses, and more broadly, to exercise their rights and responsibilities as citizens.

Aiming to provide tools for the development of less privileged or historically excluded populations, Mercado Pago launched two financial education projects in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Uruguay. On one hand, it aims to boost the businesses of thousands of micro-entrepreneurial women, and on the other, it is designed to offer initial training to thousands of high school students in public schools.

Financial Education for female entrepreneurs

Today, there are over 7 million SMEs in the region, with more than 50% led by women. Despite being drivers of the economy and job creators, Latin American’s female entrepreneurs face more barriers when accessing financial services and management tools, which serve as key enablers for the formalization and growth of their projects. Often, their businesses operate in semi-formality, with limited scalability and access to the formal financial system.

To enhance female financial education, we have partnered with Pro-Mujer and Aliança Emprendedora. Together, we provide management tools to over 3,000 women, allowing them to increase their income-generating capacity and envision a sustainable future for their businesses. We support them throughout the development cycle of their ventures, whether in the pre-incubation, incubation, or acceleration phase.

Through this initiative, we give the women access to dynamic content on financial planning, agile methodologies, sales channels, and financing. The content is specifically designed for the participants to progress at their own pace and meet their needs. Additionally, we foster a community of entrepreneurs: as part of a regional network, women expand their networking potential while having access to mentors and take part in virtual classes to follow up on their learning.

Financial Education for Youth

We know that sustainable change doesn’t happen without education, in any social dimension. Of course, to generate profound transformations in populations affected by some form of structural gap, training cannot rely solely on sharing videos and tutorials. Developing skills when young people are still in school is one of the greatest equalizers in access to future opportunities for individuals. Therefore, we seek to teach relevant content in the most impactful way and do it in a timely manner.

To this end, we are proud of the partnership between Mercado Pago and Junior Achievement Américas. Together, we have developed an initiative that provides basic financial education training to 3,900 high school students aged 16 to 18 from public schools in the region. Thanks to this project, carried out through a virtual campus with personalized teacher support, boys and girls learn concepts such as saving, credit, and personal financial planning at an early age. These concepts enable them to better develop their ability to generate value and resources, both for themselves and their communities.

Gaps in Financial Education in Latin America

These Mercado Pago initiatives are based on research on financial education conducted with Trendsity in five countries in the region (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico) in 2021. The report indicates that the growing adoption of digital payment and collection methods is driving interest and understanding about various finance-related topics. However, significant challenges remain.

Seven out of ten people with bank accounts lack basic financial knowledge, and 81% of those surveyed stated that there is a need for more education and information about digital financial services. On the other hand, the data highlights lower involvement of women in the financial system in the region: 57% of men have a bank account compared to 51% of women. Only 10% of women can save compared to 16% of men, and 34% of men were able to answer 3 out of 4 financial questions correctly, compared to 25% of women.

Closing these gaps is particularly important in a context where access to digital accounts, credit, and investments is becoming increasingly widespread. This is confirmed by Mercado Pago’s first Financial Inclusion Progress Index, presented recently after surveying more than 45,000 users in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico to measure the impact of financial services.

According to this multidimensional study conducted by Americas Market Intelligence, the progress of financial inclusion continues at a steady pace after the COVID-19 crisis. Notably, 70% of users report using less cash and experiencing an improvement in their financial situation, while 45% of consumers accessed a credit card or credit offer for the first time.

Reporte 2022

Mercado Libre presents its 2022 Impact Report


We are acting today

We know the challenge is huge, but we also know that the time to act is right now.

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