Hello everyone, my name is Maria and I’m originally from Peru. I grew up in Madrid and moved to the UK since 2011. While doing my degree I was able to work and study overseas in over five countries such as UK, Canada, France, Singapore, China.

I started my social enterprise Nuna Peru when I visited Peru for the second time of my life. I remember when I went to Cusco and I met a few women artisans who were selling beautiful hand-made products. There I saw two kids who were trying to sell me some products and I felt in shock to see this situation of child labour. I went to speak with their mum and asked her why these kids were selling products. She explained her situation as a single mother who had to sell her crafts in order to feed her kids. She didn’t have any support where someone could look after her kids, therefore she had to bring them with her and support her.

That’s when I opened my eyes and saw the critical situation of thousands of women artisans in Peru who come from minorities groups and face poverty in these remote areas. Over 60% of indigenous women suffer violence and discrimination in Peru. I wanted to do something about it, and this is how Nuna Peru ‘was born’ to facilitate and provide the best platform to sell Peruvian crafts and support more unprivileged communities. The aim of Nuna Peru is also focusing on women empowerment through education and entrepreneurial vocational training to support more women artisans and their children to have better opportunities.

As a Latina social entrepreneur, I saw education is the key factor for everything in life. To accomplish ‘dreams’ and enforce economic development in these communities, we might therefore implement better education infrastructure and support more micro-enterprises to leverage more opportunities.

The reason why I decided to participate in EYE was for the mobility opportunity, primarily in the USA. One of the main factors of scaling up a business is through business expansion. Sale is one of the main revenue streams for Nuna Peru and we are willing to target US market as well as developing new digital strategies for the company. Through this opportunity, I am now in New York for three months to achieve these business goals, as well to work with a brand-marketing specialist entrepreneur based in NYC.