May 8, 2019 - Empowered women, empower the world. Mastercard, ConnectAmericas for Women of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and INCAE Business School’s Latin American Center for Entrepreneurs (LACE), are launching the Virtual Accelerator digital training platform as part of their ongoing commitment to advance women entrepreneurs throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

Available in all Spanish-speaking countries through the IDB’s ConnectAmericas platform beginning this month, the Virtual Accelerator will offer women entrepreneurs the opportunity to access key training sessions, webinars and a network of experts for business guidance. Featuring seven online course modules, the platform will test and train registered participants in master topics including, growth strategies, marketing, operations and team management. Those who participate should expect to:

  • Learn the key elements involved in growing a business

  • Leverage specific tools to modify or improve the performance of their business

  • Create and implement action plans focused on growth

The online training will enable many more women entrepreneurs throughout the region to develop their business acumen and study at their own pace. Access to these skills trainings are designed to improve creative thinking and problem solving that can help take businesses to the next level. Entrepreneurs who finish the training will receive a certificate of completion. In addition to the platform, women entrepreneurs will be able to take advantage of other tools offered by INCAE and ConnectAmericas for Women to facilitate the access of their businesses to new markets, as well as participate in business forums and networking opportunities.

Inspired by the mission and vision of the LEADs Mujer program (Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Advancement, Development and Sustainability), the Virtual Accelerator is a digital evolution of the LEADs Mujer program that has skilled many female entrepreneurs face-to-face throughout Central America (Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panamá, El Salvador, Guatemala y Honduras). This project represents the latest effort in achieving Mastercard’s and the IDB’s #100kChallenge, an ambitious campaign that seeks to connect, coach and certify more than 100,000 women entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) by 2021, , through the ConnectAmericas for Women platform.

“At Mastercard, we understand the importance of supporting women entrepreneurs and empowering them with the necessary tools to lead successful businesses,” expressed Luz Gomez, director for LAC programs at the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, the company’s philanthropic hub. “Through the Virtual Accelerator, we hope to empower more female entrepreneurs around the region and train them in the areas that will help grow their companies and have a greater impact on their local economies.”

“The Latin American Center for Entrepreneurs at INCAE is enthusiastic about partnering with Mastercard and the IDB in designing innovative ways to deliver academic content and reaching broader audiences through digital means and are pleased  to contribute our knowledge and expertise to the creation of the Virtual Accelerator” ” said Francisco Pérez, Director of the Latin American Center for Entrepreneurs. “We are convinced that by supporting the acceleration of promising enterprises led by Latin American women, the region will prosper by the creation of new jobs and wealth.

About Mastercard

Mastercard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry. Our global payments processing network connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

About the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth
The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth focuses on promoting equitable and sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion around the world. As a subsidiary of Mastercard, the Center leverages the company’s data, expertise and technology along with administering the Mastercard Impact Fund’s philanthropic investments to empower a community of thinkers, leaders and innovators on the front lines of inclusive growth.  For more information and to receive its latest insights, follow the Center on Twitter @CNTR4growth or subscribe to its newsletter.


INCAE is the leading business school in Latin America, founded in 1964 and dedicated to applied research in impact centers, especially in the areas of competitiveness and sustainability, entrepreneurship and development of women leaders. For more than 50 years its mission has been to actively promote the integral development of Latin American countries. The institution ranks # 25 in Executive Education in the world and # 1 in MBA programs in Latin America, according to the latest Financial Times rankings.

About LACE

INCAE Latin American Center for Entrepreneurs (LACE) was founded in 2016 to support the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Latin America.  The Center provides innovative research, mentoring, specialized training and a business plan competition open to men and women throughout the region.

About IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.

About ConnectAmericas is an online business community created in 2014 by the IDB to help the internationalization of SMEs in LAC. It currently has more than 200,000 registered companies from 150 countries, belonging to 50 different industries. In 2016, the IDB launched the ConnectAmericas for Women initiative, an online business platform that seeks to boost the growth of companies led by women in the region.
Andrea Denadai

Corporate Communications & Reputation, Latin America & the Caribbean
+1 (305) 536-9648