WEAmericas Peruvian Business Owner Strives to Expand

For Peruvian Yliana del Carmen García Vásquez, business success grew out of difficult life circumstances. However, her business has now become a community investment.

Yliana’s entrepreneurship started early in her career. When she became pregnant with her son, her partner left her and her job at a state social program would not allow her to continue working while pregnant. “From there began the history of my business,” Yliana explains, “I was given the opportunity to be trained in business plans by the chamber of commerce in my city . . . and there was born the idea of creating my first company, Chocolates YLI.”

Chocolate YLI

Yliana is now the owner of Yli Souvenirs and Chocolates Yli, two business that produce and market chocolates, sweets, and handicrafts from the Peruvian Jungle and the San Martin region.

Yliana believes that women sharing their information, training, and knowledge is key to their success. She attributes her personal success to the training she received and now is in the process of passing on the experience she’s gained.

She says the issue is to “not keep the information, but pass on your acquired knowledge. I am in that process of sharing, and I am excited to teach what I know.” Living in a cacao growing region, she is able to connect and share her experience with her business’s raw material suppliers, most of whom are women farmers.

Chocolates Yli WEAmericas The Way Women Work interview with Yliana del Carmen García Vásquez Yliana explains this is a crucial time for women to be sharing their business capital. “There are more and more opportunities for women in business, every day we are moving and working on it.” Specifically, regional government and private organizations are providing more tools for women in the chocolate business to manage and support their businesses.

There is still work to be done to improve women’s business positions in Peru, but Yliana points to encouraging developments. “I work on a project for youth entrepreneurship, where 80% of staff providing training and advice are women, and many of the positions of regional coordination of public institutions in the region are also managed by women.” Also, the number of micro enterprises headed by women is steadily increasing.

Working to maintain small businesses, Yliana finds many challenges. She is focused on strengthening her finances to acquire machines and develop the infrastructure to improve her production capacity. She wants to expand her market in the next few years and is tackling the vision one small step at a time.

Yliana is continually focused on encouraging and enabling those around her to succeed. She  shares her knowledge with the youth of her community, pursuing more professional development for herself so that she can pass the information on to younger entrepreneurs.

To aspiring business women, she urges, “First, believe in what you are undertaking (product or service), do not give up if you don’t see your expected results in the first few months. Persisting and studying your results can help you achieve your goals. Sometimes you may need to try other strategies, but don’t give up. Being an entrepreneur requires persistence and perseverance. Also, training is important because we live in a world where constant innovation and competition is strong.”

Next week, Oct 20-22nd, Yliana will be participating in the second international conference of Women Entrepreneurs of the Americas (WEAmericas) to share her businesses and part of her work in the Peruvian cultural community. See a preview of that conference here.

Yliana del Carmen García Vásquez The Way Women Work interview Chocolate YLI

Charlotte Cline-Smith

PR & Communications Manager

Cross-cultural consultant. ESL Professional. Writer. Editor. Working to share stories and grow together across cultures and communities.