We’re saying goodbye to 2016 by highlighting the amazing work of our 2016 class. Below is an interview with Rocio González, CEO & Co-Founder of Greca.
Problem to Solve:Generate value from discards both in designed products and in the work its production generates
Why was 2016 a special year?
2016 was a year of many projects coming together. Since 2015 I have worked with Loren Nuñez, CEO & co-founder of Totebag. This year we launched a new project together called PAPASTUDIO – a studio for design and strategy for other entrepreneurs. Together we participated in Columbia University’s Entrepreneurship and Competitiveness for Latin America Program. This program helped us rethink the respective processes involved in production and business administration of Greca, Totebag and PAPASTUDIO. Throughout the year I was focused on developing as a leader and The Global Good Fund kept me on track; they empowered me to set goals which allowed me to focus and complete them. Many of my goals were achieved before I planned, because as opportunities presented themselves my Global Good Fund training prepared me to take advantage.
What motivates you to keep going?
I want to give more work opportunities to women in underdeveloped communities. With Greca I started working with women from jails and persons with disabilities. My idea of scaling up is to create more jobs and create products out of discards in order to have an environmental impact. This is what motivates me.
Tell me about your growing pains?
Argentina is a country with a very unstable economy. Being an entrepreneur here is very challenging. For example, we pay the same amount of taxes as a large corporation. I’m trying to create a sustainable business, and financially it is very difficult. Also, sustaining a good team is very important to us, and we made this a priority in 2016. To grow we need great people and structure, and with that comes great responsibility; I now have a lot of people relying on me.
What was the biggest road block you faced this year?
This year I had to move out of the factory I had worked in and built up over the last few years. It was a difficult decision to make, but it was the right time. I built a new factory, DARAVI, in Tigre, which is now my “model factory”. Here I employ women from the area to make objects and fashion accessories out of discarded materials. I want to replicate this model in other towns of Argentina.
How will you know when “you’ve made it”?
When I see people working in many factories, families with work throughout the year and new sustainable products in line at supermarkets and stores, I’ll know that I’ve made it.