Success story – Spain

Success story - Spain

1. Who are you and where do you come from? Please introduce yourself.

My name is Yolanda, I’m from Togo, I have 3 kids and I have been living in Spain for 12 years. My entrepreneurship is about textile, furniture and food recycling. I work with female colleagues who are in a vulnerable situation. Furthermore, in recycling, we give opportunities for co-creation to women.

2. What are the areas of your project?

We do different things related to recycling and selfcare. On one side, we do textile recycling through sewing and printing, such as recycling second-hand clothing and accessories and giving them a second chance to sell them at a fairly affordable price for users. We also recycle furniture like sofas, refrigerators, etc. We fix the furniture and then we sell it. It is a way to support the community and, at the same time, give support to female workers so they can have their own income. To finish, we have a project about not wasting food. I think food is a very important part of life. Through a restaurant and a college, we give support to our community.

3. What made you become an entrepreneur?

There is an African proverb that says that one by itself can reach the goal, but in a community we can go further and faster. As an African, I always have this proverb in mind and as an entrepreneur, after studying Marketing, I realized that the social part was missing in my project. This approach is part of me because I volunteered for many years, so I wanted to integrate both sides, the business and the social. I also realized that in the entrepreneurship journey, one alone can face economic, emotional, social and institutional difficulties, but together with different colleagues united, we are part of a network. Each one of us is from different backgrounds and brings their skills and experience to the table. So, when we co-create, everything is more concrete, concise and effective.

4.What difficulties have you encountered?

First of all, when you become an entrepreneur, it is easy to have the main idea or the “minimum viable product”, but it costs a lot to take the first step and to say “I will start with whatever I have and that is it”. On the other hand, we have the economic aspect. It is very difficult for a migrant woman to become an entrepreneur because if we don’t have savings or a regular ID, the banks don’t trust you. Migrant women have disadvantages compared to local people who have the trust of the institutions and the community. For example, if I wanted to rent a location for my business, there would always be distrust because people don’t know if I will continue to pay. Also, it is very difficult for us to have the trust of the local institutions and the opportunities they offer us.

5. What would you say to all women entrepreneurs that are listening to you right now?

Keep going for it everyday. If the idea has come to you, it means that it is possible for it to be viable. And by being viable it is also possible that you can live from it and help others to do the same. So go for it, because it’s really worth it.

Check out Yolanda's video