Magazine article International Trade Forum

Inspiring Women to Achieve More in Business

Magazine article International Trade Forum

Inspiring Women to Achieve More in Business

Article excerpt

The Global Women Vendors Exhibition and Forum (WVEF) helps women entrepreneurs create new business contacts and develop revenue-making opportunities for their companies, but who are the attendees and what stories do they have to tell about their business experience and views on women in business?

We asked two women business owners about their time at WVEE Why did they attend the event and how do they see the battle for women's equality in the workplace? They also have some inspiring tips for female business leaders of the future.

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LAURA BUSNELLI

President of Buplasa

TF: Tell us about your company.

LB: Buplasa was created by my father in 1982 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It specializes in the production of plastics for cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and promotional materials, supplying customers like AVON.

I have been president for 12 years, having joined the company in 1997. I worked alongside my father for three years, but when he passed away in 2000 I took over at the age of just 26. I was very young, relatively inexperienced, and the plastics industry is traditionally a very male-dominated environment.

Luckily I had a great support network around me, both within the company and in my family. They helped me bring the company through one of the worst recessions in recent times and ultimately allowed me to re-shape the company to be the success it is today. Over the years I have managed to develop a great network of contacts, and completed a Master's degree in business management to help give me the skills I needed to take Buplasa forward.

The financial climate and the steep learning curve were real challenges for me and the company, but we got there in the end.

We've implemented a new business plan, leading to turnover of US$ 2.5 million last year, with US$ 3.5 million forecast for 2013--more than a 40% increase.

TF: What did you hope to get from WVEF?

LB: It's the first time I've been to WVEF, so it was a new experience for me! I was there for the buyers' roundtable in particular, to make new friends and business contacts, and of course to see What other women are doing to support and grow their businesses.

I was also there as a representative of Vital Voices. I helped co-found Vital Voices in Argentina, part of a global partnership that helps women realize their full leadership potential and thereby transform lives in their communities. Vital Voices is active in over 144 countries worldwide, and I help coordinate the Argentina and Latin America activities to get more women into business.

TF: Do you think progress has been made in achieving equality for women in the workplace?

LB: Yes. It is easier for women to run a company today than it has been in the past, and it is easier for women to advance their careers. There are more opportunities for women, but also I see younger generations of women being more entrepreneurial, courageous and ambitious, and there are fewer and fewer disparities between men and women.

TF: Do you have any tips for aspiring business women?

LB: I think women will always find it difficult to balance work with family life, but I am proof that it can be done! I take things day-by-day and rely on the support of my family to help me achieve everything I want to do.

JANET ESTRADA

Co-founder of Evolucion IT, Mexico

TF: Tell us about your company. …

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