Economic empowerment & advocacy

LGBTI equality through economic empowerment

About LGBTI poverty

Micro Rainbow International Foundation’s previous studies into LGBTI poverty in CambodiaBrazil and among refugees in the United Kingdom have supported the argument that there is a link between discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity and poverty.

They also show that when poverty is combined with multiple forms of discrimination, such as gender, race, class and, most importantly, sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status, there develops a reality of massive socio-economic inequality and exclusion. Put simply, LGBTI people pay a higher price to step out of poverty.

About our economic empowerment and advocacy programme

After piloting and testing activities for over five years, we have shaped an LGBTI-centred economic empowerment and advocacy programme which includes the following activities:

Our economic empowerment programme is already showing three interesting results:

  • It creates new, practical and life-changing opportunities that do not exist locally (to improve skills, to improve chances to find jobs, to set up small businesses) for LGBTI people to step out of poverty. It is instrumental in improving the livelihoods of many poor LGBTI people;
  • It changes social attitudes and the negative stereotypes that society often associates with LGBTI people. In Cambodia for example society believes that LGBTI people are destined to be homeless, poor and at the margins of society. However, our programme shows that when people start to earn some money and help the family, the community and society financially, their status improves and there is greater acceptance;

It provides new data and life stories that are powerful tools for local advocacy for better rights.

Latest updates

Woman with dark hair in the foreground, holding a small microphone. Behind her are tables and a crowd of people

Thalyne’s Story

Find out how Thalyne, who concluded our 9th small business training and our 2nd Acceleration Programme in Brazil, was able to expand her business and organize the first LGBTIQ+ business fair in the north of the country.

Ian’s story

Ian is a trans entrepreneur from Brazil who joined our training during the pandemic in the hopes of improving his business skills. Find out how he managed to expand his business, open his own vegan restaurant and increase his income more than 10 times in less than a year.

Macuco's story

Macuco’s story

Macuco, a lesbian craft beer business from the south of Brazil which managed to overcome the damages of the pandemic, boost their sales and expand their brand after attending our first Business Acceleration Programme, in partnership with Meta and Aliança Nacional LGBTI+.

Accelerating LGBTQI businesses in Brazil

Accelerating LGBTQI businesses in Brazil

Between September 2021 and April 2022, we held our first Business Acceleration Programme for LGBTQI entrepreneurs in Brazil, in partnership with Meta and Aliança Nacional LGBTI.

9th small business training

9th small business training for low-income LGBTQI+ entrepreneurs in Brazil

On May 2022, we started our 9th small business training for low-income LGBTQI people in Brazil. Find out how the selection process went and how we hope to support 42 entrepreneurs across all regions of the country, including the most vulnerable members of our community, in the development of their small businesses and improvement of livelihoods.

Wanessa with her make-up

Wanessa’s story

Wanessa is a trans woman living in poverty in Rio de Janeiro. After undertaking MRIF’s small business training in 2020, her life changed completely. Training enabled her to improve her skills, increase her income and overcome barriers and fears.

Rainbow Flag

A civil society guide to cracking the World Bank

It’s time to fully understand and leverage the economic development and MDB community to advance economic empowerment for LGBTI people. This guide informs CSOs so that they can advance LGBTI economic empowerment through the World Bank.

LGBTI and Trangender Flags

Breaking New Ground for LGBTI Empowerment

International development banks are starting to move forward with more LGBTI inclusive policies. The MRIF has played a major role in advocating for these changes and will continue to make sure there is an LGBTI seat at the table.

Andréa Brazil

Andréa’s Story

Andréa Brazil, trans, activist and feminist, tells us how she founded Capacitrans, assisting trans people in Rio obtain professional qualifications.