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Strengthening Business Resilience During COVID-19: Learning Brief

Empleando Futuros is a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) project for workforce development in Honduras. It was implemented by Banyan Global from June 2016 to November 2021. The aim of Empleando Futuros was to increase the employability and protective factors of at-risk youth living in high-crime urban areas with high levels of irregular migration. As part of the adaptations made by the project to face the COVID-19 pandemic, activities related to economic recovery were included, through business strengthening and development of biosafety courses and platforms. The COVID-19 pandemic had a dramatic impact on the Honduras economy. Micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) form a significant pillar in the Honduran economy, contributing approximately 60 percent of the Gross Domestic Product and generating 7 out of 10 jobs. Empleando Futuros responded to this crisis in 2020 by launching a business strengthening intervention. Over a six-month period, the intervention worked with five business associations and chambers of commerce and industry to assist participating firms to pivot their operations in the face of COVID’s economic restrictions, by improving business practices to increase resiliency through online and hybrid business trainings and curated business coaching.

Empleando Futuros developed a series of end-of-project learning and impact briefs-based on specific key learning questions. These analyses form part of the overarching learning agenda of Empleando Futuros, which draws on the observations, outcomes, and lessons learned from the experience of implementing the Activity and from additional studies undertaken to investigate specific issues. Through the respective publications, Empleando Futuros provides further understanding of project outcomes and how lessons learned impact the Workforce Development landscape as well as Micro, Small, Medium Enterprise (MSME) context in Honduras. The below learning brief highlights the methodologies used, some critical contextual considerations, and the resulting impacts, as well as key findings from this early-on economic recovery intervention.

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