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Elsy Alvarez


Elsy Alvarez was awarded a scholarship under the Regional eWomen Program of the eCommerce Institute and "Alliance for eTrade Development II", a Global Development public-private partnership funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This call for scholarships aimed to support MSMEs in developing digital skills and access to tools to participate in international e-commerce.

Elsy, in 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, took the Internet Sales Operator course (Initial Program in Digital Commerce) of the eCommerce Institute, learned from scratch to use digital tools, developed her Final Project, and was mentored during the acceleration stage. Today, she tells us how she managed to implement her e-commerce business on her own

How did you come to know about the scholarships?

The idea came up while I was studying for a master's degree in innovation and entrepreneurship. By chance, we were offered a scholarship opportunity through the university and I applied. During my studies at the e-commerce institute, Smart cosmetics began to take shape.

Tell us briefly about your project.

Our Project helps people find a hair or facial routine that will give them an expected result, as we work by understanding the client's problems too, through clean and professional formulas, achieve an effective routine for the problem they are facing. We attack the waste of the beauty industry with minimalist, concentrated, and professional routines.

How do you think these types of programs benefit women?

These training programs in new technologies benefit all women because they help us to become technology-based entrepreneurs. The global trend is toward electronic shopping. The program opens up possibilities for inclusion and success in the digital field.

Do you think there are not enough scholarships available for women?

There are scholarships, but the issue is to be aware to take advantage of the time and apply the knowledge. There is room for improvement in Latin America.

What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome in order to have your digital sales channel? Do you think the course you took at the eCommerce Institute helped you? Tell us why.

The biggest challenges were the time to shape everything on my own. The project started as a personal challenge, and now we are growing and incorporating new talents. We are doing it with the help of mentors and local programs so that we become a prosperous and scalable company.

The E-commerce operator course and the acceleration program helped me by giving me a 360-degree vision of what a digital business is. All the experts and sessions were practical and taught us what we needed to apply and create a venture in the right way.

How do you project the future after the learning you have gained? Do you have challenges to overcome? If so, tell us what are your biggest pain points.

The future is to be a regional brand oriented to sustainability and quality in cosmetics and to be able to export our product to other markets. We will always be the home of clean beauty.

We still have to overcome the challenge of the necessary traffic as our countries are working on the digitalization of people. But we are confident that it will get better every day.

What can you say to other women who are looking for training but cannot access a program?

I want to leave a message to all women that, yes, you can be an entrepreneur, that there are opportunities to generate value, and that they should look for the opportunities and options provided by aid organizations because something like this can change and improve their lives. Education opens all doors and there are opportunities for those who want to progress.

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