Maria Cavalcanti

Pro Mujer

b>Pro Mujer is dedicated to providing women in Latin America with vital financial, health and human development services.

Focus: Microfinance, Health, Education
Geographic Area of Impact: Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina
Model: Social Business
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 282,000 (2013)
Annual Budget: USD $ 52 million (2012)
Percentage Earned Revenue: 90% (2012)

More than 167 million people in Latin America live in poverty and have insufficient access to health care options. In a CEPAL survey of 18 Latin American countries, it was revealed that women experience poverty at a rate up to 37% higher than men. Women and girls also have higher rates of malnutrition, lower educational levels, and are disproportionately victims of sexual assault and family violence. Additionally, chronic diseases are now the leading cause of deaths in the region, responsible for 68% of mortality and leading to billions of dollars of losses in economic production. Pro Mujer works to directly address these conditions through its integrated programs designed for poor women.

Innovation and Activities
Pro Mujer is a leading women’s development organization that provides more than 280,000 women in Latin America with the means to build livelihoods for themselves and futures for their families through financial services, business and empowerment training, and health care support. This powerful formula helps the courageous and hardworking women Pro Mujer serves generate much-needed income for themselves and their families, unlock their personal potential, send their children to school, care for their health, and make life-altering changes to improve their living conditions.
Health services have been part of Pro Mujer’s mission since it was founded in 1990. In order to achieve a greater impact, Pro Mujer is in the process of testing and expanding an innovative new health model that is designed to be client driven, market based, and financially sustainable. The approach and model have been refined and altered through client feedback, ensuring that demand drives implementation. The model ensures that clients can afford to access health care by focusing on convenience and providing an innovative financing mechanism.

The Entrepreneur
Ms. Perez was appointed CEO of Pro Mujer in 2008 following a distinguished 21-year career in private banking where she led multinational businesses and teams, and executed organizational transformations. Prior to joining Pro Mujer, Ms. Perez spent more than two decades in a number of senior leadership positions for J.P. Morgan Chase, culminating in becoming the executive in charge of its Private Bank Latin American division. Originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, Ms. Perez received her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from Universidad de las Américas (Mexico) and a Master’s degree in European History from Yale University.