Name: María Cecilia Ribecco
Twitter handle: @MCRibecco
Country of Origin: Argentina
Organization Name: CRIAR. Community of Female Entrepreneurs
Organization Website: www.emprendedorascriar.org
Brief Description of Organization: CRIAR is a women’s organization whose mission is to provide educational and development tools to women in the city of Rosario and the region in order to optimize personal and professional resources, and to successfully develop their careers. The initiative includes a program to provide training in leadership, self-confidence, creativity, personal finance, strategy, teamwork, technology, innovation and professional mentoring to a community of women interested in working as a way of achieving economic independence for poverty reduction. The organization offers workshops, conferences and seminars of specific support with a focus on gender issues.
What inspired you to start this organization?
I started this organization when I found out that was there was no exclusive space for women to develop as entrepreneurs in my city. I have spent many years training entrepreneurs and found that women faced different challenges when running a business, there are fewer opportunities for growth as a woman and contact networks are inaccessible to the most vulnerable sectors. For that reason, and with the desire to change that reality, we founded a community where women can train for free on professional tools for managing projects with a focus on gender issues so that they can face social barriers increasing their participation and promoting economic independence.
What is the next big step you hope to help your organization reach?
The next big step is to develop an online learning site for training women in entrepreneurship linked to gender empowerment. This web and mobile platform would offer free access and would include a system of e-learning to provide training and professional mentoring. It would also reach more women in different locations and those that do not have the possibility of attending the current trainings.
What has been your biggest obstacle as an entrepreneur?
The biggest hurdle I had to face was the lack of support. When you are an entrepreneur, you need to be accompanied by others who have the same vision and help you overcome other obstacles such as the lack of understanding from the rest of the community as regards the social impact our work has.
What advice would you give other emerging entrepreneurs?
My advice to other emerging entrepreneurs is to surround yourself with other entrepreneurs, to look for support from organizations and for mentor advice, to aim for continuous training since everything changes very quickly, and finally to believe in yourself, and go ahead with your dreams.