Imagining Something New To Learn And Start Again
When Scarlet Pambianchi decided to take the step of migrating, she did so with great expectations, although she was aware that it would not be an easy path. From the first moment, her inner drive was to give her family a better future, which obviously included financially helping the people who had remained in the country of origin. Although her first destination was Mexico, the unexpected accident of a relative and her complications disrupted all her plans, so she decided to change her destination to Peru, where she wanted to create her own company.
Since her specialty is artistic gymnastics, a friend of hers offered her and her partner to move to the city of Lima to work in the sports area, with an interesting economic offer. But when they arrived at their destination, her promise was diluted, and after discovering that nothing was as she had been promised, she decided to focus on the idea of creating an entrepreneurship with more persistence.
Scarlett was aware that her own business had to be something as necessary as it was original, so when she saw clearly that her entrepreneurship would be focused on handmade footwear, her project began to take shape minute by minute. She tells us how even starting from the ignorance of her field, the exploration was fascinating to her, since it united those components that are fundamental for her: illusion, imagination and creativity. However, she and her partner soon realized that they needed training to really shape the business idea they both had.
“And IOM has been a blessing with its comprehensive training, from how to start and improve a business, to financial education, and mentoring for socio-emotional strengthening. Because many times we think that an entrepreneurship refers only to the fact of producing, of being only aware of the financial aspect, that what is produced is everything, and it turns out that sometimes it is overlooked that, as migrants, internally we remain empty , and thus there are no forces for entrepreneurships. That’s why I appreciate the integration of mentorships so much! And not only because it made me see that to sustain a business it is necessary to start from the heart, but because I am convinced that this is the best medicine we have ever had”.
Scarlet’s company is called Retazos de Imaginacion S.A.C. It specializes in manufacturing handmade shoes with personalized designs, and it is, as its creators say, 80% handmade, but 100% impregnated with love.
Creating Good Connections To Expand A Business
For Gustavo Alejandro Herrera, the decision to migrate was not an easy one. It took him a year of reflection to leave a large part of his family in Venezuela. From his first company in Trujillo, Cambios RYG, destined to send remittances to his country, he felt valued and respected by his neighbors, although the first few months were economically complicated. The most important thing in that early period was saving money, so for six months he restricted himself to eating practically everything, except the essentials, unlike the way of life he was used to.
Having set a goal helped him to apply it to his company as well. His growth strategy was to set small goals and meet them under any circumstances. Gustavo is convinced that entrepreneurships have to somehow show the values of its manager. That is why he wants his clients to feel that being Venezuelan has education as a mark, and he considers it essential for business.
And not only because he considers that in certain areas it is not enough to work hard and make an effort, but that more values must be provided, such as honesty or sincerity. “No one likes,” he says, “when the person you give your money to send to another country doesn’t act politely and seriously. I understand how you may feel, because if I can help my family myself I will feel good, but that does not mean that I give my savings to just anyone.”
For Gustavo, joining the IOM program was the springboard he needed for basic issues such as learning how to legalize businesses in another country, in addition to other basic strategies.
However, for him it has been essential to strengthen himself to handle difficult situations, as he learned with mentoring.
“I realized that to endure a business, the strong ties that are within us are as important as the new ties with people whom you share with day to day, so I try to break the prejudices that exist with Venezuelans” .
For Gustavo, social intelligence is key for business, and he defines himself as a person willing to help, be respectful and collaborate with the people around him. He believes that this makes a difference when there are strong migration processes. Gustavo has decided to create another business that also benefits local people, so he has just opened a laundry, Lavandería Super Flash Clean RYG, and has the serious intention of opening two more soon, although “step by step”, as he says.
Creating An Entrepreneurship To Improve The Lives Of Others
Erika Beatriz González Correa created Therapy Dec, a business born from a personal purpose and a professional goal: to help people improve their life quality through physical rehabilitation and recovery. “When I studied Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy, I already knew that I would do a service job, and now I have the commitment to make a positive impact in the lives of my clients, this time, in Lima, Peru”. From the first moment Érika knew that although she would have to overcome some initial challenges, such as getting her clients to trust her knowledge and experience, at a time when the mass migration of Venezuelans was increasing, she would have to continue working internally to face the fear of rejection, that it would still be there, even if things went well.
It was a Peruvian colleague who, without Erika looking for it, helped her make herself known, she helped her demonstrate that she knew how to relieve pain and rehabilitate. From that moment on, her company specialized in older adults, although the pandemic and total confinement forced her to assume the desertion of many of her clients, who could no longer seek services due to the risk of contagion.
“With this pressure, I remember that I kept thinking over and over again: a Venezuelan woman in Peru, facing a pandemic with confinement like everyone else, the only option left for me was to think and reflect on what capacities I had internally to find an solution.”
Eika began to put into practice new resources, methods and strategies to unlearn everything that she felt was limiting her. “I decided to reinvent myself,” she tells us. “Simply put, I felt like the only option I had was to sell tissues to people who were crying, instead of sitting down and crying myself.”
At that precise moment, she recounts that she received one of the best gifts of her life: an invitation to participate in the IOM business strengthening program for migrants. “Who would think? In a foreign country, support was given to those of us who came from another place…” For the physiotherapist, it was not only the managerial knowledge she learned, but for her entrepreneurship, was the recognition of her values, capacities and how to strengthen their vision of caring for other human beings through mentoring.
What IOM was providing was much more than accounting or organizing. “I gained strength and personal appreciation at a very difficult time” she tells us, “but the most important thing is that thanks to it I managed to be a better businesswoman, mother, daughter, wife, and a better person every day to provide each one of my clients the best I have”. And he continues: “the mentoring provided me with so many valuable tools that seemed especially made for me, and this made me a better person, and with each client I intend to do my best so that they can feel that they made the best decision by choosing me as their therapist. I know that I not only help them recover from an injury, but that I also seek to help them from a human perspective, as life has helped me since I arrived in this wonderful country.” Today Therapy Dec continues to grow not only in clients but also generating jobs so that more people can improve their quality of life.
From The Art Of The Image To The Art Of Changing Life
Gregorio Enrique Torres Hernández’s entrepreneurship is called Creative Workshop and is focused on visual arts, ranging from professional photography for social events, fashion, artistic activities, to personalized photos or contemporary abstract paintings made by himself.
For Enrique, the decision to migrate was born from the need to improve his an his family’s quality of life. According to him, “I wanted to give my son better opportunities in life, a future with more options, that he could see in his life possibilities to broaden his interests.” For months he weighed options, limiting them to the small budget they had. Through his older sister, they were able to leave to Bogotá, but after a month of living there, they found it necessary to look for a better destination: Peru. At that time they were not aware of how being far away from Venezuela was going to affect them emotionally. “I think that one of the most difficult things is arriving in a new country to live and not knowing anyone,” he says, “we were our only support. It took us a few months to overcome that strong feeling of loneliness, although when we did, it somehow opened our minds.”
As he describes it, the fact that for many months they were forced to endure feelings of depression and loneliness, didn’t stop them from fighting to start from scratch, no matter what it took.
Enrique is sure that the social loneliness and not having a network of support, is what pushed him to seek the help of IOM , when a family friend gave them a link to apply and receive training and help in order to create a business. He immediately knew that his business should be a reflection of what he was really passionate about: making art. In fact, his innate ability and creativity for painting, to which he had integrated photography at the age of twenty-five, gave him security when it came to knowing the product he was going to work with.
That was the reason why Enrique’s life changed when he found out that he had been selected for the Business Plan workshop. He had the product and would learn a method, in an Organization like IOM to which he will be forever grateful, since they think of people who migrate urgently, supporting the entrepereneuships of people in difficult situations. That was a blessing for him. Although he considers that another great gift came later: the possibility of participating in Mentorships with people who had migrated like him and his family, who lived in the same city. He refers to it in his own words:
“I have to say that those sessions made me reflect, analyze and discover new things about myself. I personally felt that they helped me become a better person. I am not only referring to the professional field, but also on a human and personal level. The mentoring made me more empathetic, with the result being an improvement in my business. I began to understand my clients more and better. They awakened new ideas that I took to the arts workshop. I think it was seeing how my change had a positive impact on my business that I opened an extension that will soon see the light: art workshops for children and adults.”
A Story Of Creativity And Resilience
For Ramón Alberto Ortegano, his original cake business with a history, called Amaretto’s, located in the city of Lima, is his great passion. Although it was not easy for this creative university professor to leave his family and his country of origin, starting from scratch in another country, weighing all the situations, was worth it, and as he himself confirms: “the new land received him with open arms.”
Two years after his arrival, even after dedicating many hours of work to his entrepreneurship, the situation of his business unexpectedly changed. Added to the lack of capital due to the abandonment of his partners, which left his company with only an asset of $20 US dollars, was the mandatory confinement due to Covid-19 and the return of strong feelings of nostalgia for his home country. However, Ramón did not allow himself to forget his dream, and transformed his difficult situation in an opportunity to increase his strength, and decided to give forced confinement a new meaning: he studied to implement in his pastry creations the element that until now had ignored: innovative decorations that create emotions in customers.
He discovered that the lockdown was the ideal time to dedicate himself to discovering innovative decorations that could add value to his business. This is how Amaretto’s Tradition was born, a new line of “personalized cakes”. The truth is that it did not take long for him to have a large client portfolio, which allowed him to participate in the IOM project aimed at obtaining seed capital, together with the excellent training that he needed for his entrepreneurship. And his dream gradually came true, the business began to expand more and more.
“Another of IOM’s great contributions was the mentoring program, which I personally did not know what it was about, but there is no doubt that it came just at a time when I was feeling very low, wanting to abandon everything, and although there were so many negative things in the environment, I asked myself “what do I lose by doing them?” It was then that Nora, our mentor, with a vibrant energy and professionalism, managed to get me involved in that program without any possible excuse to leave. I remember the first session perfectly: I was decorating a cake, and then she told me: “don’t stop doing what you’re doing, you’ll see that you can still share your thoughts with us.
From that moment, with each exercise of self-reflection, with each strategy of inner strengthening, I was rediscovering myself, and I could explore my new abilities. Mentorships have allowed me to scrutinize very deep inside who I am, and as it happens with computers, I can put my mind in “original version”, valuing the abilities I have in a very short time, and the change is brutal, as they would say in Venezuela . I am deeply grateful.”