Published on April 26, 2021

In Ecuador independent and informal workers are trained with ILO business methodology to recover their livelihoods

600 independent and informal workers, young people and adults, nationals and in human mobility, in 7 cities start or improve their businesses with the IMESUN methodology, validated in more than 100 countries.

Quito - According to figures from the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC), of the total number of people with employment, in December 2020, 51.1% of these worked informally. The pandemic has had an obvious negative effect on the labor market, and especially on access to decent work.

In order to reduce the impact of the pandemic in the workplace in Ecuador, the ILO launched a training program with the IMESUN methodology, in the cities of Quito, Guayaquil, Cuenca, Manta, Santo Domingo, Loja and Machala. This program seeks to strengthen the entrepreneurial skills of men and women, and ensure them better opportunities to create and improve their businesses. For many young people in Ecuador, especially vulnerable to the effects of the employment crisis, small and micro-enterprises are their main sources of work and income. IMESUN enables them to start, recover or improve their current businesses.

José Gregorio Lucas is a young Venezuelan entrepreneur (29 years old) living in the province of El Oro. In his restaurant "Don Patacón", the menu includes a wide variety of products made from green bananas, one of the main agricultural products of this zone. "They teach us from the first business idea to the entire process that must be followed, including the required financial part," said José Gregorio.

Like José Gregorio, around 600 independent and informal workers, young people and adults, nationals and in human mobility, in the cities of Quito, Guayaquil, Cuenca, Manta, Santo Domingo, Loja and Machala, benefited from the training program that concluded the December 16, 2020, and that involved a total of 52 courses with facilitators of this methodology. At the moment, Ecuador already has 25 certified trainers actively involved in the process, which will allow the consolidation of the program in the country.

Once the local capacity to provide services with the IMESUN methodology in the territory has been created and strengthened, the next stage focuses on the institutionalization of this initiative, so that the sustainability of the program is maintained, as well as its proper management.

The ILO IMESUN methodology has already been implemented in more than 100 countries, and has managed to train more than 15 million potential entrepreneurs, thus promoting the creation of 9 million jobs worldwide.

In the city of Manta, Marlin Barrera (28 years old) started, together with her husband, an enterprise focused on the elaboration of metallic structures. "We learned, step by step, how to complement our business idea: we included marketing plans, market studies and all the fundamental elements that an entrepreneur needs," says Marlin, who has been able to apply the knowledge acquired to his family business.

This effort to strengthen entrepreneurship in the country has been promoted by the ILO in Ecuador through its projects to promote the expansion of social protection for young people in the informal sector. and the economic integration of Venezuelan migrants and refugees with decent work . These projects work with sectors of the population particularly affected by the labor market crisis caused by COVID-19.

The strengthening of capacities and skills for entrepreneurship is accompanied by various actions implemented by the ILO in Ecuador, which seek to promote decent work and expand social protection to the population groups most affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Finding paths to formality is an essential element for resilience in the face of an economic and social crisis, as well as for achieving sustainable development and a more equitable society.

Originally published on ILO Ecuador