Interview with Nathaly Priscilla Vinueza, CEO of Warmi

Warmi, the first social FEMTECH company in Latin America to undertake a redefinition of female wellbeing and promote empowerment to help curb gender violence and inequality with a B2B2C business model, is one of the projects selected to participate in the third edition of the ‘Raise for Impact’" program, which gets impact entrepreneurs prepared to receive their first round of investment. This model was validated with the launch of a prototype at the largest gender event in Ecuador, Violeta Summit, where it was used by women with high impact, generating four potential businesses with four top companies in the country.

We spoke with CEO Nathaly Priscilla Vinueza to learn more about the project, the challenges she has faced when it comes to entrepreneurship and what benefits were gained from Raise for Impact.

How did the idea to create Warmi come about?

Warmi came from a personal experience of suffering harassment at work and the need to find support and help on issues affecting my well-being and safety.

What challenges do you face when it comes to measuring your impact?

The main challenge is clearly that promoting empowerment is a subjective and personal issue; measuring impact is complex from a holistic perspective. We have tried to find ways using existing indicators, such as those used by the WHO or World Economic Forum, however we believe that the best way to measure real impact is by using what our clients themselves tell us. For this reason, we made one of our key tools, called the circle of life, a tool for measuring impact as it measures the degree of life balance to support women's development.

What Sustainable Development Goals have you set as objectives at Warmi and why?

Clearly, Warmi supports SDG5 Gender Equality, however, in looking at women holistically, we also support SDGs: 1,3,4, 8, 9, 10 and 17.

What have you gained from the Raise for Impact program?

Very important knowledge on how to go about searching for impact capital, how to develop an impactful business and most of all, getting in touch with mentors, who have provided us a great deal of know-how for refining our model.

The percentage of women entrepreneurs with technology-based startups is still far lower than the percentage of male entrepreneurs. As a woman entrepreneur, what challenges have you had to face? What do you think could be done in order for there to be female entrepreneurs like yourself?

Being a woman entrepreneur is already complex, but it is even more so when it is your first experience and you come from a different world, as in my case, the legal world. The biggest challenge I have faced is figuring out how to develop a business, how technology works and how to believe that what I am doing can have a major impact on other women. For me, that adrenaline has fueled me to learn new things every day, to challenge myself mentally and to seek out support from organizations like Social Nest Foundation in order to make my project succeed.

What would you recommend to someone thinking about becoming an entrepreneur?

Lose your fear. Children, payments, debts, etc. are always a barrier, but breaking away from the status quo is key to moving forward, even more so when you're undertaking the business together with your partner, leaving both the stability of a formal job and putting all your savings and dreams on the table for something bigger. I am sure the effort will be rewarded and that fear of losing it all will go away, because the best gift of entrepreneurship is that I realized what I am worth and I can achieve anything I set my sights on.