Empowering Women Miners: TraceAbility Premium Funds New Initiative in Peru

Emprende Pallaquera is an initiative that provides women miners with essential business skills and knowledge to create micro-enterprises. The new partnership with TraceAbility Premium by Argor-Heraeus will enable the project to reach new miners’ associations, establish alliances with local mining companies, and expand towards a phase of formalization and business implementation. 

Collaborative project works to transform lives in Peru.

Life for women in Peru’s artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM) communities can be challenging. However, the Emprende Pallaquera initiative is transforming the game for “pallaqueras,” courageous women who dedicate themselves to sorting through scree to find overlooked gold. In collaboration with allies, like the planetGOLD Peru project and the Peruvian Ministry of the Environment, the initiative has been working with seven associations of pallaqueras since March 2023.

Now, with a renewed boost by Argor-Heraeus through its Traceability Premium initiative and the involvement of FUNDES, Emprende Pallaquera is set to support over 90 pallaqueras across four new micro-enterprises within the next eight months.

This exciting development is bolstered by the crucial involvement of FUNDES, a leading organization in sustainable development and entrepreneurship. Through targeted workshops and internships, FUNDES will join Solidaridad to equip pallaqueras with the essential business skills and knowledge they need to thrive.

This comprehensive program offers business plan development, entrepreneurship training, and connections to financial partners. This paves the way for formalization and long-term success for these emerging micro-enterprises.

Economic Independence and Gender Equality

The Emprende Pallaquera initiative takes a bold steps forward on its mission to propel the pallaqueras to economic independence and foster gender equality within ASM communities. Thanks to a strengthened plan and a seed capital injection of 30,000 US dollars, at least four micro-enterprises led by pallaqueras will be launched.

Women in ASM communities are a driving force for development. Yet, they often face barriers. This partnership is a monumental step towards economic independence and gender equality. The impact will benefit not only the pallaqueras themselves but also their families, communities, and the entire value chain.

Mauricio Winkelried, Mining Programme Manager at Solidaridad

Champions for ASM Sustainability: Argos-Heraeus and FUNDES

Argor-Heraeus, a leading name in the precious metals refining industry, is renowned for its global reach and expertise. In recent years, the company has emerged as a champion for sustainability and ethical development, particularly in the area of responsible sourcing from ASM communities.

TraceAbility Premium, a pioneering initiative by Argor-Heraeus, exemplifies this commitment. This programme adds an extra premium on specific products, channeling the funds directly towards social development projects in ASM communities within its value chain. This initiative underscores Argor-Heraeus’ deep understanding of the challenges faced by mining communities worldwide, and its unwavering dedication to fostering sustainable development within the Peruvian artisanal mining sector.

“At Argor-Heraeus, we believe that by investing in the education and development of women in ASM communities, we are not only ensuring they can use all opportunities they need to accomplish their potential and to thrive economically, but also contributing to the overall sustainable development of these communities,” said Sabrina Karib, Director of Sustainability, Argor-Heraeus. “We are proud to be part of these entrepreneurs’ journey.”

FUNDES, with its 39-year track record in developing sustainable strategies and enterprises across Latin America, plays a crucial role in the “Emprende Pallaquera” initiative. By providing essential business advice and training to programme beneficiaries, FUNDES will equip them with the tools and knowledge needed to effectively manage their microenterprises.

“At FUNDES, we are proud to be part of this initiative. We believe that an all-encompassing approach like this, combining business plan implementation with technical assistance, has the potential to generate significant impact,” said Randolph Salazar, Director of Operations for Latin America, FUNDES. 

He continued to say, “This project will not only create jobs but also empower participants to become development leaders through their enterprises, driving individual economic progress and contributing to the well-being of their families and communities.”