Women Entrepreneurship through Recycled Art in Ecuador
Kallpa Warmi is a newly formed, women-led initiative that uses recycled materials to create jewelry. Their specialty is creating beads from recycled magazines and turning them into earrings, bracelets and necklaces. Kallpa Warmi is composed of motivated, well‐organized rural women who aim to grow their entrepreneurship skills and strategies to further their micro-business. This project aims to build upon the current strengths of the women of Kallpa Warmi and aid in the early stages of business development, marketing and quality control. The women will attend business and accounting workshops, as well as participate in field trips to observe how marketplaces work. The project will provide office and marketing materials, as well as non‐recycled materials for the jewelry, such as metal clasps and wire. Project Update The women participated in various workshops, learning about business development, personal leadership, and marketing. Each member of the group has been responsible for leading community-wide artisan workshops, providing them a valuable opportunity to improve their public speaking, self confidence, and leadership abilities, and pass on skills to fellow community members. The women charge a small fee per workshop, and touch on various income-generating activities, such as recycled art, ceramics, and pastry making. The local government has pledged their support and proposed a contract to continue the community workshops for an additional three months, which will increase Kallpa Warmi's visibility and impact within the community. To date, the women have participated in six artisan fairs, selling over $200 in products. The women have transformed the cooperative to provide a variety of trades and crafts, capitalizing on their individual strengths and local market demands. As a result of this project, the women are empowered rural entrepreneurs and have expanded their small women's group to a profitable business. Testimonials
"As of now, we are giving workshops to more than 50 women members of our community in the following areas: recycled roof tile decorations, scrap wood art, ecological jewelry, weaving, bread and pastry-making, and entrepreneurship. These workshops have helped other women in the community learn new skills to increase their own incomes, and thus help their families." - Marisol, Project Leader "I am grateful for the women of Kallpa Warmi as a group. This group has made me recognize the beauty in what I do." - Janeth, Project Participant "I am new to Kallpa Warmi, but I am so happy that they have shown warmth and accepted me to be a member. I know these are talented entrepreneurs and I am very happy to learn from them and grow together." – Ester, Project Participant "As Kallpa Warmi, we share our rural sierra pride and culture with those from the cities and other countries. This group is like a family to me and it makes me very happy. I have learned so much and am grateful." – Dilma, Project Participant
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