They created a platform to boost the business of Mexican microentrepreneurs
Through a marketplace, content marketing and support and consulting services, Deborah Dana and Isabel Olea help women entrepreneurs to formalize and grow their business.
Deborah Dana is an entrepreneur, mom, and investor. 10 years ago he founded Kiwilimón with Lorenza Ávila, a portal for cooking recipes. In 2009, after the birth of his fourth child, he decided not to return to the day-to-day operation of the business and as they already had a CEO, he only decided to occupy a seat on their board of directors.
So, he got into mutual funds and, together with a group of Harvard Business School alumni, founded Soldiers Field Angels , a venture capital fund in Mexico that invested in 12 companies. The most important exit was that of the Deforma , which they sold to Televisa last year.
When trying to help entrepreneurs and their companies grow through this intelligent capital, Deborah realized that in the country there were few platforms to promote women entrepreneurs . Much less existed for microentrepreneurs.
"There are countless women who have great ideas and want to start a business, however they do not dare to take the step because they encounter fiscal barriers, access to capital, little legal support or have logistics problems," says Deborah.
So he set out to change this panorama. With the help of David Dana and Israel Díaz, she created KL Studios , a company builder that seeks to transform women's lives through technology-based solutions. “We believe that teams are our competitive advantage. In all leadership groups we have at least one founder and we foster mixed gender teams, ”says Deborah.
In May 2017 they made the first launch of KL Studios : Canasta Rosa , which he founded with the help of Isabela Olea, Israel Díaz, Karina Vázquez and Leonardo Ramírez. It is a digital platform that makes microentrepreneurs grow through three ways: Market , the place that helps them capitalize on their own sales through e-commerce; Inspire , content marketing to position yourself, reach more customers and increase your sales; and PRO, support and consulting services to professionalize your business that include legal advice for trademark registration, accounting, design, marketing courses, among others.
A practical solution
Two years after its launch, Canasta Rosa already has 900 saleswomen who have joined the initiative, who now sell more and have managed to professionalize their business. The growth has been very organic and is not exclusive since 8% of the sellers are men and 50% of the buyers are also male, explain the entrepreneurs. At first Isabela identified on Instagram the accounts of women who sold products and who had many followers and invited them to join Canasta Rosa . They started with 30 and then the growth was given by word of mouth recommendation.
The secret, says the entrepreneur, is the practicality that microentrepreneurs find on the platform. In the first place, because there you can sell all kinds of products, from beauty items, accessories for babies, children, pets, fashion and food, among which gourmet desserts and keto products (low in carbohydrates) stand out. An entrepreneur can trade part time and quickly start selling on the platform. There you can determine your hours of operation, indicate the time it takes to have a product ready and close your store in the holiday season, for example.
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After an agreement with DHL , Canasta Rosa solves the logistics issue for its saleswomen: the company collects the products at the entrepreneurs' homes and delivers them throughout the country, so the saleswomen do not have to worry about going to offices outside From home. The cost of shipping is absorbed by the buyer at a preferential price of 70 pesos and thanks to this agreement, the microentrepreneurs have savings of up to 60%.
Another issue that the platform solves are the payment methods. The marketplace offers safe methods for female entrepreneurs to sell their products. Accepts credit cards, paypal, convenience store deposit and interbank transfers.
Canasta Rosa charges a commission of 5% per transaction plus 3.5% for the digital payment processor. The sellers receive payment for their products through Mercado Pago 15 days after the product is delivered. Deborah says that using her platform is much cheaper than other marketplaces such as Amazon, which charge up to 15% commission.
Another advantage is that the moment the entrepreneurs get on the platform, they immediately have an online assistant called Mikaela, who ensures that all purchases and shipments are successful for both sellers and customers.
A plus: through Inspire, blogs with innovative content within the marketplace, the sellers can reach more people. This content is not for sale, part of the Canasta Rosa team is identifying the trends and the stores that are having the best performance and can be recommended or participate in videos or Do it yourself articles, through which they can get more conversion rates (sales).
And it is that these contents do not only appear on the Canasta Rosa site, but also on some blogs or specialized lifestyle portals with which it maintains alliances.
Professionalize your business
Two months ago, Canasta Rosa launched its PRO service to accelerate the growth of microentrepreneurs. With the payment of an extra fee, microentrepreneurs can access professional services to design their brand, help them create identity manuals, create their logo, take professional photographs of their products, create videos, marketing strategies, keep their accounting and participate in various workshops. They can also access various events such as physical sales in shopping malls, such as the one they had last May in Antara.
Canasta Rosa PRO solves another core issue: taxes. Through this alternative, the platform can keep your annual accounting by paying a fee of 5,000 pesos plus VAT annually. Deborah recommends entrepreneurs to register with the Tax Administration Service (SAT) in the Tax Incorporation Regime (RIF), although you can also pay taxes if you are registered as a Natural Person with Business Activity.
If a microentrepreneur is not yet registered, the platform she leads can support her to complete the process for a fee of 500 pesos. Even if an artisan or entrepreneur does not want to register with the SAT, Canasta Rosa is empowered to absorb the costs and pay your taxes. In the latter case, they would charge you a commission of 20%.
Canasta Rosa currently has a solid presence in Mexico City, although they have shipments nationwide. The idea will be to build communities of vendors in the main cities of the country. Deborah is blunt in pointing out that in all her years as an entrepreneur, technology has played a key role in scaling business. That is why he says that his favorite place to be is his cell phone or a website, because from there is where some of the most important ventures have emerged. And it continues looking for new solutions for the female segment. "We believe that the" X "factor is a competitive advantage in both our companies and our founding teams."