At the core of Artistri Sud’s mission, we seek to empower and support female entrepreneurs to leverage their skills and become more financially autonomous. A key component of our program teaches participants how to effectively market their products to increase sales. However, as the current global health crisis shifted the way local and global economies function, most of our participants met unexpected difficulties. 

Yet even with these challenges, many of our participants have been utilizing this time to analyze their businesses for ways of improvement. Here are some of their amazing achievements over the past few months!

Veronica Montesdeoca, 2019 Ecuador ASSET Training Participant 

Veronica is a founding member of Sara Sisa Bordados, a group of embroidering artisan women from the Llano Grande, Quito. Sara Sisa’s products center around traditional hand embroidery. Veronica, along with Maria Guachamin and Rosario Tasiguano, attended the 2019 Ecuador ASSET training for Sara Sisa. 

Upon the start of social distancing restrictions, Veronica saw a need to revamp their social media presence (both Instagram and Facebook) to drive some sales. 

In addition to Sara Sisa Bordados, Veronica (along with her family and friends) has looked into new business opportunities. They have started selling produce baskets in their new venture “Allpa Mishki” which translates to Treats from the Earth. They are currently working on their Facebook page- in the meantime, they utilized technology to design and send a digital catalog to friends and family through Whatsapp.

Ca, 2019 Vietnam ASSET Training Participant

Currently, the COVID-19 situation in Vietnam is improving and lockdown restrictions have been lifted. Even so, most of our Artistri Sud graduates are from the region of Sapa where their livelihood is closely tied to tourism. With borders still closed, these women are significantly impacted.

Ca normally works as a tour guide for tourists visiting Sapa. This allows her to use her local knowledge of the history and culture of the region and share it with others. However, since February Ca – like many of our graduates in Vietnam – has turned back to farming to be able to feed her family. When possible, she has also maintained a minimum source of income by selling food products.

Paty Marcalla, 2019 Ecuador ASSET Training Participant

Paty’s business, Finca orgánica Alegria, generally focuses on produce and jams. However, as the situation evolved in Ecuador, she grasped a shift in the needs of both her clients and community. With farm markets being shut down due to social distancing regulation, Paty had to find a way to both use and sell her produce. As a result, she has started making desserts with her sisters.

Paty demonstrates the ability to quickly adapt to a new situation. By using a product that she is familiar with (jam), she has created a new business. In addition to this, Paty also has been making meals for her community to help those in need.


Gladys has used her time in quarantine to improve and expand her social media presence, as to reach out to her customers in a different way.

Gladys Morales, 2019 ASSET Ecuador Training Program

Gladys makes herbal teas for her business LunaTÉ, which she usually sells at farmer markets. She typically uses social media to share the locations of the markets where she would be selling her tea. However, with the travel and social distancing restrictions in Ecuador, she decided to use social media and other online tools to ensure accessibility of her product. 

This included a revamp of her social media accounts, and the creation of a digital catalog of her products so anyone can place an order. With the ability for people to place digital orders, Gladys has even had to hire someone to help her with deliveries!


The past few months have been challenging times. Yet these women, and so many of our other participants, have used their entrepreneurship skills and quick thinking abilities to come up with creative solutions. Their positivity and resiliency at this time has inspired us– and we hope it inspired you, too. Even with these successes, Artistri Sud is still working on efforts to support past participants in any way possible. If you would like to help us, please consider making a donation or volunteering for our team

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