Puntadas de mujer is a yearlong program in Medellin that teaches women how to become entrepreneurs. The program welcomes women from low-income backgrounds, and women who are solely responsible for their family finances. Participants are expected to have literacy and mathematics skills before they begin the program.
As with all CadaVida Foundation programs, Puntadas de mujer has two main components:
• First Component: Training
• Second Component: Implementing Skills/Earning Income
First Component: Training
Puntadas de mujer consists of 5 modules:
As part of the application process for Puntadas de Mujer, each women candidate must complete the following two steps prior to acceptance:
1. Letter of ‘Intentions’ & Resume: Apply by sending in a motivation letter for why you want to join CadaVida and your latest resume.
2. Meet and Greet: Required to attend two CadaVida information and interactive sessions. These meeting promote closer interaction with the candidates, allowing the CadaVida team to get to know them more closely and determine their abilities as entrepreneurs.
Social Entrepreneurship Workshop
Participants will learn all the basics they need to start their own business, including Marketing, Strategic Planning, Production, Organizational Structure, Accounting and Finance, Fiscal and Legal
The workshop is held 4 hours a day over the course of one month, for a total of 80 workshop hours. This module is a prerequisite for additional modules.
Participants will learn different strategies to save money. Topics include What is a Savings Group?, How to Open and Use a Bank Account, Personal Finances, and How to Use Applications to Keep Track of Personal Finances.
Includes lessons in management and communications skills, improvisation workshops, elevator pitches, and more.
Includes lessons in basic Internet use and web browsing, Email, Skype, Microsoft Office Suite, design tools, and other technology.
Fashion and Beauty Workshop
Sessions covering clothing and personal image, outfit creation, and makeup, and consultation with a personal shopper.
Every CadaVida woman is ready and prepared to continue her life of financial and emotional independence. The world belongs to her, she now knows that she has many opportunities waiting for her, for the sake of their children, family, and community!
The program also has a Mentoring and Coaching service for each participant.
• Mentoring sessions are designed to help participants research and set their business goals.
• Coaching sessions are designed to set personal goals and map out an individual life plan.
Second Component: Implementing Skills/Earning Income
We know that women from low-income backgrounds cannot focus all their time on studying; they also need to earn an income. In addition to providing business and skills training, CadaVida’s Puntada de mujer program also gives participants the opportunity to make money by selling clothing.
How it works: CadaVida foundation gets donations from textile companies in Colombia and abroad. All the clothes are new, never-been-worn garments that the company can no longer sell because they are out of style or season, or are factory seconds. After we receive the clothing, the women in our program are able to resell the garments and generate a monthly income. This takes place after the women have completed Module 1. Our participants receive 30 pieces of clothing to start their business, and they continue to receive 60 pieces each month until they finish the program. Participants are given monthly sales goals, and their progress is tracked through bank statements.
Reselling clothing allows our participants to gain retail and business experience. Participants contribute to their local economy, and also take part in a “sharing economy” by entering partnerships with textile companies. In addition, participants get to take part in the eco-friendly practice of reselling clothing that would otherwise become waste.
Why clothing? Though clothes are an important part of the way humans present themselves to the world, many low-income women never, or rarely, have the opportunity to wear new clothing. Yet being able to dress up and wear something beautiful or professional can often help develop a women’s self-esteem, allow her to feel comfortable with herself, and project to others the beauty and power she feels inside. Through Puntadas de mujer, our participants and their customers get the opportunity to wear new, quality garments that can become a powerful tool both professionally and in how the women perceive themselves.
In addition, owning and running a retail store provides our participants with sales, marketing, management, and budgeting skills that will benefit them in any business endeavor. Moreover, these skills can be passed on to others as our participants sell clothing back into their own community, forge connections with their customers, and serve as an example to others. Our participants are encouraged to share the lessons they have learned with other women in their community.