This is a question that many women who were interested in being part of the Women’s Empowerment Project (WEP) ask, once hearing about the different activities that they must participate in if they want to be part of WEP.
To them, this was something out of the ordinary; what does this have to do with learning about how to manage their businesses?Although the team responds to this question, the question only ends up being accepted and understood once the entrepreneurs have participated in various self empowerment workshops.
During these workshops the entrepreneurs have the opportunity to rediscover their personal life and their value as a person and a woman, which in many occasions has been left behind. Their value and their ideas of a personal life were left in their childhood homes where they constantly put others before themselves, completed different chores, babysat younger siblings, and created their own income. They now continue to do these things for their children and their spouse, if any, in their own homes.
Although they live in different homes, they are always serving, taking care of, and seeking the well-being of others, above their own.
These living conditions are the reason why many of them are so surprised when they participate in workshops which include activities aimed at self care and self love. It is challenging for them to halt their daily activities in order to think about their own life’s history. On occasion they may feel like they are “wasting time by thinking of themselves”.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed due to you not having have time for your personal activities?
After many workshops changes are evident and that initial question is answered by the entrepreneurs themselves when they say thing like: “now I feel more full of energy,” “my ideas are now clear,” “I can now speak up for what I believe in.” All of these phrases are accompanied by not only a sparkle in their eyes but also with their head up high and with the confidence of looking at who they are speaking to.
Out of all previous reactions, the one that was most significant and probably gave the best answer to the question, which is the title of this article, was the one an entrepreneur expressed in the month of May’s workshop.
“Although it is sometimes difficult to make it to the self empowerment workshops, I try my absolute best to make sure I do not miss one because the themes we discuss help me feel more confident”.
“I’ve also noticed it in my sales because back then, when I would offer my products, on many occasions I would sell them at the cheap price my clients would offer because internally I doubted that my work was not worth what I was originally asking for”.
“It would upset me to hear that other vendors who sold the same product, in the same place, would sell it for a higher price than mine”.
“I have now learned to value my work, and the time I invested into my work, by reasonably pricing it depending on the effort invested”.
“I also learned to feel proud of what I produce, which brings me great happiness and satisfaction”.
This is just one story that comes from the entrepreneurs themselves, a story about their experience once participating in the self empowerment workshop.
No one on our team can give a better explanation on why we offer self empowerment workshops, if the WEP is supporting entrepreneurship.
The entrepreneurs take satisfaction and happiness back to their families, because the project impacts much more than those who participate in it. In this way they fulfill the mission of Programa Velasco which is: to educate and empower children and women entrepreneurs in El Salvador to build strong families and create better futures.
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