Women & Business Contest Pacific Trade Show - Toronto 2019
Fashion designer Patricia Guzman, being a single mother, and facing the difficulties of gender equality in the professional field in a developing country, decides to begin the entrepreneurship journey with her daughter Nathalie Cervantes, who has a master's degree in Marketing. From their dining room, they created a brand focused on the ecology and support women. Atellier Organic. Joyas de Autor is a brand 100% Mexican, creator of unique pieces of handmade jewelry, using natural semi-precious stones from Latin American mines, with ecological processes, and inspired by traditional techniques. Currently, the brand is internationally certified, member of international NGOs, like WeConnect International, being also finalist in international entrepreneurship contests, and also receiving mentorships from programs like "Cherie Blair Foundation for Women", gives mentorships internationally with organizations like "BuildaNest " and "Mentor Capital Group", and sells her products through recognized online stores like Amazon.
Nathalie participated in the Women & Business Contest at Pacific Trade Show 2019, where she was one of the winners of a cash prize in the pitch competition. Here it is an interview related to her experience as an entrepreneur exploring business opportunities across the borders and her international experience in Toronto.
What is the reason why you participated in the "Women & Business Contest" offered by Pacific Trade Show in Toronto, Canada? To connect with women entrepreneurs from other countries to expand my network and also to connect with professionals, companies, and organizations that support the growth of SMEs in the Pacific and Canada. Mainly to open the international market to promote handicrafts of women entrepreneurs from a developing country. From your participation at the Pacific Trade Show, what is new that you could find and learn to be a contribution to your export journey? Exports are one of the pillars of the economy of any nation, to generate a real impact need to be part of a virtuous circle that promotes the economic growth of the enterprises. Being the biggest challenges to export:
Meet the potential customer
Generate a diversification strategy
Study the implications related to the process.
Have a good business plan
From the different conferences that were held, there was information available to the audience which helps companies in their export process, the most important things to highlight is:
Barriers and opportunities for increased trade interaction
The relevance of establishing strategies for entering new markets
The relationship and alliance between the countries of the Pacific and Canada
The success and failures of companies that have expanded to both Canada and Pacific countries
The bridges that exist between Ontario and Latin America.
How was your experience participating in the Pitch Competition and being one of the winners of the cash prize? My experience in participating in the pitch competition was to learn from the experiences and knowledge of women entrepreneurs. Being one of the winners of the award validates the work we have done for more than 9 years, and it gives us the opportunity to continue with our vision, which is to position the brand in international markets, support women entrepreneurs and showcase the mineral treasures of Latin America. What advice would you give to a company led by women looking for opportunities in the international market? Gender equality in the business world is an issue of vital importance for the economic development of countries, but still, inequality, although women have a higher level of education persists in legal regimes globally and occupy key roles in the economic development process. However, the creation and development of a company has a higher level of difficulty for the female gender than the male and these are usually mostly SMEs. The need to implement innovations for the growth of SMEs lies in the need to create enabling conditions and a conducive environment for women entrepreneurs to develop the potential of their businesses. Electronic commerce offers great potential for the expansion of SMEs into international markets by intensifying the sales power by creating a new distribution channel to reach new customers, develop marketing strategies and produce new business opportunities. In addition, e-commerce is a powerful tool that allows SMEs to move faster in the development phases by positioning the company in the world market. So, women entrepreneurs must use information technologies for their exponential growth.