Gabriela Alvarado, Paraguayan entrepreneur. Founder of Negociable.com.py
Last year, I had the privilege of participating in WeXchange and meeting thousands of women entrepreneurs who, like me, had just given birth to their first projects. Like all first-time moms, we were scared and filled with doubts. Others, a little more experienced and perhaps a little tougher, mothers of three or four, knew what to expect. But either way, in the world of entrepreneurship, no one escapes risk, fear, and failure.
What I take from WeXchange is precisely not being scared by these words any more, letting go of the negative connotation associated to them.After all, in risk there’s reward; fear, if it doesn’t paralyze, can motivate, and failure is nothing but the opportunity to start over with more experience. We have to stop with the negative connotations attached to these terms and start being a little bit more like Americans, fearless and adventurous, for what in Spanish we call risk capital to them is “venture capital”. Luckily, now more often the term entrepreneurship capital is being used.
In the end, success, like Edison said, is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration. Getting results requires work. Having an idea is only the first step. We have to get over the fear of failure and enjoy every second of the process. Only those courageous enough to take risks and put themselves out there will see results. And this is what the WeXchange platform offers us, that trampoline to venture: the advice from women mentors who have failed but also succeeded, funds from entities that believe in our role and are willing not only to bet on our ideas but also to finance them, and the support of thousands of women who are in our same situation, whose experiences provide us with lessons and motivation.
I’m moving forward with my venture, about to celebrate its first birthday. At times I’ve been afraid, I still have doubts, but I also feel proud and so very satisfied, because even though we still have a few numbers in red and we keep correcting mistakes, we’re making progress.
In my case, since the nature of my business is related to investments, what I gained through WeXchange were the contacts and the networking generated. Thanks to WeXchange and some of the contacts made, I got my first international clients, and I could attract this capital to Paraguay, where today they are seeking to acquire businesses to operate from here, all through my platform (www.negociable.com.py).
According to the manifesto we signed on December 12 last year, declared Latin American and Caribbean Women Entrepreneurship Day, we all committed ourselves to advancing our role in the business world within our respective cultures. We declared our commitment to the cause, and to the support we would be offering each other. According to the first point in the manifesto, Women Entrepreneurs of Latin America must always seek to grow with their businesses and generate greater wealth and employment through their organizations. Doing this, my fellow women entrepreneurs is no easy task. There are risks, and there will be failures, and yes we will be scared. It is precisely for this reason that we have to support one another and bet on the role of women in transforming the current system. Let us take advantage of the platform that WeXchange offers us, onward women entrepreneurs!
Gabriela Alvarado is a Paraguayan entrepreneur. She worked in consulting in Boston, Washington, Chicago and New York for a few years before returning to her country, where she worked for telecoms, NGOs, and the banking industry, before daring to undertake her first digital project, a platform for buying and selling businesses, Negociable.com.py, which also offers consulting & valuation services,and strategic searches for mergers and acquisitions.