Female micro-entrepreneurship as a way out of poverty

Our best support for entrepreneurs update

Our best support for entrepreneurs

Sarita and Hector together created Cardani Company, a handmade clothing brand. Their story has inspired our volunteers, who would like to share it with you.
Sarita, gifted with exceptional intelligence, braved challenges from an early age. Raised in a rural environment marked by poverty and sexism, she fought for access to education. By the age of 10, she was walking an hour to school every day. At 11, a brutal attack only strengthened her determination to succeed. Despite difficult conditions, Sarita persevered, working hard to survive on a few euros a week.
Her dream of serving in the Navy was cut short by her parents' illness, but she found a new passion in sewing, supported by her future husband, Hector. Their meeting in a textile factory marked the beginning of a beautiful story of love and partnership.
The birth of their son Danilo, an extraordinary child but facing unique challenges due to his autism and hyperactivity, was a turning point for the couple. Knowing the challenges that lay ahead, Sarita and Hector returned to their hometown, Quilmana, to be surrounded by family and create Cardani Company, dedicated to their son.
We had the privilege of accompanying this extraordinary family for five months in Peru, an experience that profoundly impacted our lives. Their courage and determination inspired us, and saying goodbye will be difficult."

Andréa & Philippine, volunteers in Peru

Do you remember Emiliana?

Chocolatier for over 30 years in Guatemala, Emiliana has greatly touched our volunteers during the various accompaniments. 
To immerse you in her world, we wanted to make a video that reflects well her accompaniment by our solidarity consultants. 

"Palabras Peruanas", a unique report that gives a voice to our Peruvian beneficiaries

We are proud to present our very own p͟r͟e͟m͟i͟e͟r͟ ͟r͟e͟p͟o͟r͟t͟a͟g͟e͟ entitled "𝗟𝗮 𝗣𝗮𝗿𝗼𝗹𝗲 𝗮𝘂𝘅 𝗣𝗲́𝗿𝘂𝘃𝗶𝗲𝗻𝘀", edited and produced by one of our Latin America Mission volunteers, Andréa Arcamone 🇵🇪
This feature offers a unique perspective on Peruvian life and reflects our ongoing commitment to our beneficiaries 🌍
We invite you to watch this feature with colleagues, friends or even alone.e and especially 𝗮̀ 𝗹𝗲 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗮𝗴𝗲𝗿 as it highlights people who have fought to get where they are. 𝑉𝑜𝑡𝑟𝑒 𝑝𝑎𝑟𝑡𝑎𝑔𝑒 𝑠𝑒𝑟𝑎𝑖𝑡 𝑢𝑛𝑒 𝑏𝑒𝑙𝑙𝑒 𝑟𝑒́𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑝𝑒𝑛𝑠𝑒, 𝑑𝑒 𝑝𝑜𝑢𝑣𝑜𝑖𝑟 𝑙𝑒𝑠 𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑡𝑟𝑒 𝑒𝑛 𝑙𝑢𝑚𝑖𝑒̀𝑟𝑒 𝑒𝑡 𝑠𝑎𝑙𝑢𝑒𝑟 𝑙𝑒𝑢𝑟 𝑑𝑒́𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑚𝑖𝑛𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 🤝
So, don't hesitate 𝗮̀ 𝗻𝗼𝘂𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗷𝗼𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗿𝗲 𝘀𝘂𝗿 𝗻𝗼𝘁𝗿𝗲 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗶̂𝗻𝗲 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗧𝘂𝗯𝗲 and subscribe so you don't miss a thing about inspiring stories and much more! 🌟

In the Pillajo family, I'd like the sister! update

In the Pillajo family, I'd like the sister!

Esterlina runs a stationery store with her husband Victor. Mother of three grown-up children aged between 21 and 28, she looks after the stationery while her husband is in charge of sourcing and buying products.
She sells all kinds of products there: school supplies, cakes, ice cream, balloons, basic necessities, printing, photocopying, phone refills...

Anita's elder sister, she came to know Impulso through the latter and wanted the same support to boost sales at her stationery shop, which had been in freefall since the Covid pandemic. She began the coaching in November 2022.

The first objectives were to continue her training in accounting and to help her boost her sales by creating more advertising and communication around her stationery shop. The advantage is that it's located right opposite a secondary school, the disadvantage is that there are three stationers on the same street... Promotional posters, creation of loyalty cards, benefits for secondary school students - there's no shortage of ideas! Esterlina is also one of the few beneficiaries to have a computer. The volunteers have trained her in Excel, in particular to keep an inventory and her accounts up to date, and she's delighted!

Esterlina is the best pupil, now a pro at Excel accounting, and she's as motivated as ever to learn. The appointments are regular, without fail every Tuesday afternoon and she follows this up at 6pm with her weekly business class given at the church.
Her Google Maps listing is up to date and arousing the interest of Internet users. To take a look, type Papelería Yamberla into our friend Google! The volunteers have also created a logo for her stationery shop. 

Also, the current volunteers are keeping track of her accounts, because although she's motivated to know her income precisely, she doesn't record all her sales for the week. They are thinking about setting up an inventory model so that Victor can easily note everything he buys in Colombia and also all the products bought in Otavalo. This would help him keep track of supply costs and give him an idea of what they had in stock. The idea of a cash register is also being studied.

Esterlina's accompaniment focused mainly on her bookkeeping. The volunteers tried out several methods to find the one she would be most likely to stick with. They also gave her lessons and case studies on costs and revenues, and on how to calculate her profit and margins. Alongside her bookkeeping, they created an inventory differentiating between stationery, bazaar, confectionery and beauty/hygiene products. And classify her numerous invoices.

The volunteers tried to raise awareness of customer loyalty among secondary school pupils, but Esterlina preferred to stop this system. All her stationery was completely redesigned with the invaluable help of Hector and Mario from Défi Sportif. They reworked her Google Maps profile to make it more accurate and with new photos.

Support continues to monitor her accounts and continue updating her inventory with a view to setting up an automatic invoicing system. A logo is being designed by her son Jerei. Victor may need to be trained to keep track of his purchases in Colombia and Ecuador, so that he knows the right figures. Finally, Impulso will help Esterlina with advertising and promotional offers, particularly in preparation for Christmas or even the start of the new school year. It could also be advertising to showcase her creations with piñatas.

A support that proves to us that over the long term, beneficiaries grow in competence and develop qualities necessary to the running of their business. 

In the Pillajo family, I'd like the eldest daughter! update

In the Pillajo family, I'd like the eldest daughter!

"Anita makes Anaco blouses, traditional hand-embroidered blouses. The mother of a 12-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl, she divides her time between her children and her professional activity.

She works exclusively to order from her home and offers a catalog of over a hundred different designs. Her creations can be seen on her Instagram account @BordadsZayeth. The quality of her products and word-of-mouth bring her regular customers. She is keen to extend her embroidery range to children and now makes bracelets by hand.

Anita has been benefiting from Impulso's support since January 2022, with a break during the year. With Anne-Claire and Maylis, she received training in accounting, the volunteers redesigned her logo for her embroidery, created business and thank-you cards.
Since last November, she has been benefiting from an UnImpulso credit and therefore wanted to get back in touch with the volunteers.

The most important aspect of Anita's support has been the complete overhaul of her catalog with its various embroidery designs: scans of her drawings, layout ensuring the right size of motifs and then printing of the complete portfolio at her sister Esterlina's (find her portrait soon). At the same time, many of her creations were photographed to feed her Instagram account.

We helped her calculate the selling price of her bracelets and gris-gris for pens and made a few with her. We also updated her WhatsApp Business to give her more precision.

Support continues with the online publication of her digital catalog on WhatsApp Business so that her customers can find out about all her services: embroidery, alterations, sewing... But also with the development of her new project to make bracelets and gris-gris for pens with advertising and sales at Esterlina's stationery shop.

Finally, Anita is planning to build a country house on her land in San Roque. To do this, she and her husband Javier plan to take out a $3,000 loan so that they can rent it out later. It won't be in the immediate future, but we may already have some ideas."
Camille & Nathan 

At the heart of Kichwa culture

Portrait of Rosita:

In the Pillajo family, I'd like grandmother Rosita! Rosita is the mom of Anita and Esterlina, whom we accompany in the development of their activities. They've invited us to celebrate fanesca, a thick, creamy traditional soup eaten during Easter week.

So we go to their modest country home to help them prepare this feast. The children and grandchildren are already in the kitchen, and Rosita, like an orchestra conductor, gives rhythm to everyone's actions to bring to fruition this recipe that will make our taste buds sing! It has to be said that there's a lot of work involved. Preparing, rinsing, shelling, peeling... There's no escaping it.

The fanesca is made up of 12 different grains, in reference to Jesus' apostles. The whole thing simmers for several hours in a large pot over a wood fire, the same as in Asterix and Obelix. It's a real magic potion that Rosita is preparing for us!

Once ready, Rosita serves the soup with cheese, avocado, tomato, fried plantain, hard-boiled egg and salted cod. Delicious! Or as we'd say around here: "riquísiiimo"!

Like a pilgrimage, Rosita then leaves with pots full of fanesca to share her soup with the neighbors.

@jerei.ybrl, Esterlina's son learns that I have a drone. He has stars in his eyes. At church, he studies video and dreams of progressing in this field. Before leaving, I lend him my drone. Not very serene, I admit, but Jerei's doing well. To immortalize this family meal, Jerei made a video.

All the moments shared with Anita, Esterlina and more broadly the Pillajo family will remain anchored in our memories. These people immersed us in their customs, and Rosita's portrait shows the importance of tradition and sharing in Kichwa culture!

A little woman determined to get out of her predicament update

A little woman determined to get out of her predicament

"Sheilla is a little lady of boundless determination and generosity. She owns a pizzeria at the entrance to Nuevo Impérial, in San Vicente de Cañete, Peru.

Getting out of high school, Sheilla began studying nursing. She decided to have a child with her partner at the time. During the pregnancy, Sheilla and her partner learned that Salvador would have a lifelong motor disability. Knowing this, Sheilla's partner left, abandoning Sheilla and her baby.

Then a young boy his own age, Giovanni, whom Sheilla's mom had been looking after for a few years, decided to take Sheilla and her baby under his wing. Time passed, affection grew, and they are now husband and wife. Salvador is 15, and Sheilla and her husband have had a little boy, now 4, named Fabio.

As you might expect, the arrival of Sheilla's husband didn't solve everything. Sheilla had to give up her nursing studies to take care of her baby, which is still a full-time job. Salvador is in a wheelchair, and unfortunately can't do anything on his own. Sheilla works hard to be able to pay for all the regular care and treatment Salvador needs.

An unfailing optimism

For all that, despite the deep dark circles under her eyes, and her rich past, Sheilla never complains, and puts everything into perspective.

Every Christmas season, Sheilla sells panettones, in order to fund Salvador's care. As you can imagine, we bought her not one, but 18 panettones to enjoy over the holidays and to offer to the other entrepreneurs we worked with.
We helped her with communications, we took advantage of the fact that she had a computer to train her (and Salvador) in accounting for her pizzeria, and we also took time out to support her with fairly basic tasks that freed up time to look after herself, which she never did. We spent a lot of time with this family, who inspired us every day. Léonie is in fact Fabio's godmother!

With Sheilla, we understood that our support, our impact, went far beyond the flyers we drew for her. The help we give her is psychological, moral support, through our presence, and the time we spend with her children. We take care of her as best we can. 
Her resilience and courage, which we admire more than anything, are a real source of inspiration for us."

Raconté par Léonie et Adélaide

L'accompagnement réussi de Vilma update

L'accompagnement réussi de Vilma

"Vilma est l’une des dernières micro-entrepreneuses (socia) que nous avons rencontrées et pourtant on a rarement aussi bien travaillé avec une socia qu’elle ! Cette dernière tient un restaurant péruvien avec un ADN et des plats chinois. Elle gère son restaurant, Sayumi depuis 4 ans et a contracté un microcrédit auprès de la Inclusiva depuis deux mois seulement. C’est pour cela que nous l’avons rencontrée il y a peu. Vilma est une femme solaire et dynamique, très à l’écoute, qui a à cœur de progresser et de rajeunir son restaurant.

On a commencé l’accompagnement avec la comptabilité qu’elle ne faisait pas du tout. Là encore, grâce aux outils Impulso nous avons pu la former et lui expliquer l’importance de noter toutes ses dépenses chaque jour. C’est avec surprise et un certain enthousiasme que nous avons remarqué à chacun de nos rendez-vous qu’elle faisait assidûment sa comptabilité. Tout ça grâce à l’aide de petits cahiers, un pour ses recettes du jour et un pour ses dépenses et recettes du mois. Quel plaisir de voir que nos rendez-vous l’aident réellement et qu’elle est largement dans le positif avec Sayumi !

En parallèle de sa comptabilité, nous avons travaillé sur une nouvelle identité visuelle pour son restaurant. A commencer par la modernisation de son logo, puis de sa devanture et enfin de ses nombreux menus, qu’elle affiche dans la rue. En somme, nous avons réalisé cinq affiches de menus ainsi qu’une nouvelle devanture qu’elle apprécie tout particulièrement et qu’elle a hâte de pouvoir accrocher dans son nouveau local, d’ici quelques mois. 

Vilma a été une belle surprise quant à l’accompagnement que nous lui avons proposé. Il n’a pas toujours été évident pour nous d’expliquer que tenir sa comptabilité était la clé pour un commerce. Aussi, quelle réussite de voir que cette dernière est faite régulièrement et avec assiduité. Vilma a vite saisi les enjeux et souhaite continuer l’accompagnement avec les prochains binômes afin de ne pas perdre le rythme et de continuer à faire prospérer Sayumi !"
Clémence & Guillemine, volontaires à Quilmaná au Pérou

The never-ending story of Maria & Brenda and their micro-loans update

The never-ending story of Maria & Brenda and their micro-loans

Maria and Brenda are two sisters whom Marie and Aurélien, two volunteers in Mexico, met a little late during their 6-month mission, since it was two months before the end. And yet, in their opinion, this accompaniment is one of the most useful. In fact, the sisters had begun their business three months before they met. So they arrived at just the right time to offer their help.
They were able to help them find abrand identity (brand name, logo, etc.) and get started on social networks as she had no professional page. 
But the bulk of the work involvedaccounting training and above all raising awareness of the dangers of micro-credit and their interest rates.
Marie and Aurélien in fact discovered that each of the sisters had taken out loans with interest rates of 78% and 83% respectively. In fact, they had been renewing their loans every 6 months for the past ten years (quite common in Latin America, yet so absurd for us in France). 
But they had never really tried to understand the significance of these interest rates, nor had they taken the time to analyze the documents provided by the MFI (Micro Finance Institute). So they accompanied them on this subject to get them to change MFI.
This is exactly the very reason for the mission to Latin America, to raise awareness and train these women entrepreneurs so that they have all the keys in hand to grow their business, become profitable and get out of poverty.

Supported by Marie & Aurélien, solidarity consultants in Campeche, Mexico
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Emiliana and the Chocolate Factory update

Emiliana and the Chocolate Factory

A family story

Emiliana has been a chocolatier for over 30 years. She's a real little lady who never ceases to impress us at the age of 62, for two reasons: her thirst for learning and her appetite for innovation.
Her love of chocolate was passed on to her by her parents, themselves chocolatiers, and in particular her father Clément (hence the name of her chocolate factory: Chocolaterie Clementino).

A woman with her finger on the pulse of the times

While her children and grandchildren are always on hand to lend a hand in the family business, Emiliana is committed to continuous learning and doesn't hesitate to take computer courses, in particular, to keep up with the times.
So, while she's delighted to be able to learn from us, we're just as delighted to be able to grow by benefiting from her expertise and knowledge.
Through her creations, we were able to discover the entire production process of her chocolate, created from 100% Guatemalan cocoa.
In bars, tablets or even candies, her chocolates reflect her taste for innovation through their 12 flavors.
Awarded the prize for innovation during chocolate festivals, Emiliana is relentless in her search for new recipes to delight the taste buds of as many people as possible.
And it's this quest for innovation that inspires us at every meeting.
Accompanied by Éléna & Tosca, solidarity consultants in Guatemala

Candy, an inspiring Mexican update

Candy, an inspiring Mexican

Passions handed down from generation to generation

Candy is the latest in a family of 13 children: the Polancos.
The father (now grandfather), a real character by all accounts, had passed on his love of music to all his children! As a result, his sons set up a music group: the "Polanco Brothers", who were a big hit in the region in the 90s. 
Their daughters, excellent musicians and singers too, lead masses with the same energy that has characterized them for years!
But that's not all, Candy's father is also the creator of "Taller de Bicicleta y Moto Polanco" (a repair workshop). 
So, this is the business Candy has taken over with her husband.
A real coup de coeur

We met this family via our partner Institut de Microfinance Bancampeche, to help them run this workshop. It was a real coup de coeur, we were adopted and pampered by Candy, José Maria, and their two daughters: Maria José and Yazmin. 
In addition to work time, they shared with us festive and traditional moments, typical meals and discussions about their vision of life.
What struck us most was Candy's strong character, who asserts herself and commands respect despite her position as the last in a very macho family and cultural context. 
We were truly touched by her generosity and big heart. Candy adopted Yazmin, a 26-year-old girl who had to stop her medical studies abruptly, following a cancer that turned her life and motor skills upside down. Today, Candy is doing everything she can to help her cope.

Candy's determination is her strength and a huge inspiration to us!
According to two consultants in solidarity who left for Mexico.

Portrait of Teresita Hoil, a success story update

Portrait of Teresita Hoil, a success story

Teresita is a Mexican woman who sold Chicharrónes (flat South American usually consisting of breast or pork pork fry) in his traveling cart near the beaches.
Following a change of business, she and her husband Miguel decided to enter the restaurant business and so opened their restaurant in 2021 which is located in Champotón by the beach, where competition is high.

Strengthened by a desire to succeed and put their family on a secure footing, the couple multiplied their canvassing efforts and applied for a micro-credit of 2000€ (thanks to donations raised by the solidarity adventurers on our Défi Sportif mission) to improve their restaurant and make it unique. With some work, they made it more than attractive to tourists and also reworked their menu.

Accompanied by several solidarity consultants since 2021, the establishment now has about fifteen employees.
At the same time, with their daughter Cynthia, a veterinarian, the couple have been able to develop new projects such as the purchase'of 7 hectares of land which they have transformed into a ranch for, among other things, pig breeding.
A big pride for the Impulso team as we've been following them for 2 years now and after a accompaniment of 2 binomials (consultants from the Latin America mission) and a reduced-rate microcredit (thanks to our solidarity adventurers), this Mexican family is out of poverty! They've also been selected to manage the restaurant of a Michelin-starred hotel in Champotón, and we're very proud of their achievement!

Impulso vous remercie !

Discover Impulso's new year video.

108 Latin American micro-entrepreneurs to be supported in 2022! update

108 Latin American micro-entrepreneurs to be supported in 2022!

This year, we were able to count on the commitment of 32 young people (16 pairs) in search of meaning and impact. Working in 4 Latin American countries, they spent 6 months living the daily lives of women micro-entrepreneurs, whose lives are complicated and who live in extreme poverty. We are very proud to say that our 32 volunteers accompanied 108 women this year. Of these 108, 22 are no longer in need of support and therefore have the necessary foundations to structure and sustain their micro-enterprises! The remaining 86 will continue to be supported by the next group of volunteers arriving in the field in January. Not to mention the other women who will have the chance to join our program in September!

Align customer loyalty and solidarity.
Let's start!