Stephanie Cuevas is a purpose driven manager at social enterprise Rags2Riches, which is a fashion and design house in the Philippines. Rags2Riches closely works and empowers artisans from local communities.
As a borrower of Lendahand’s local partner NPFC she was invited to take part in the Lendahand SME Academy. As a management graduate Stephanie was hoping to get a business crash course to brush up on her skills to strengthen her support to the local artisan entrepreneurs in the network of Rags2Riches.
“My expectations were really met. We discussed very important aspects of the business that entrepreneurs should know and should master to be able to move the business forward.”
The dream of Rags2Riches is to not only evolve in terms of how the social enterprise deals with the market but also how it interacts with investors and future partners. Equally important, is the felt need to learn how to expand and primarily how to partner with more local communities, that can really move the country forward.
Stephanie advices future entrepreneurs to really take the time to learn and brush up on their skills. Participating in the Lendahand SME Academy was like a business crash course for her. As an entrepreneur you need to make sure that you know how to run a business.
“I know as someone from an SME that there are a lot of things that we think we would rather do, but honestly one of the greatest investment of your life is to make sure that you have the important trainings, to be able to really run a business.”
She is thankful to Lendahand and its Foundation not only for providing Rags2Riches and its local artisan communities access to capital but also access to knowledge. “Besides access to capital a high priority is equipping an SME like ours are with the right skills and the right mindset to be able to run a business and to make sure that it will thrive.” Not a lot of institutions actually do that