Pierangela Sierra has created an e-commerce platform in Ecuador called Tipti to make shopping easier but also to save people’s time.
Ms. Sierra has spent the greater part of her career working for prominent international companies across Latin America, becoming a renowned marketing expert. A few years ago, she decided to retire from the corporate world to embark on a pilot project alongside her partner. Together, they devised a plan that would give them back what they most lacked, despite their successful career: time.
“I remember we did the math in 2015, and I was away from my home for 48 weeks that year. So, I was practically there during Christmas, like a guest in my house. We couldn’t spend time together as a couple or as a family,” the founder of Tibet states .
Tibet, the brainchild of the couple, is an acronym for “Tiempo para Ti” (Your time). The integrated mobile and web platform for grocery shopping and delivery is Now the fastest growing e-commerce company in Ecuador.
“We witnessed the birth of other e-commerce platforms as we started to plan our business. This is how Tibet was born, with the idea that giving the gift of time to ourselves, as a couple and as a family, as well as to our customers, was the most valuable thing we could offer.”
Digital Commerce in Latin America
In 2019, 1.5 billion people, or approximately 27 percent of the world’s adult population, made purchases online, according to UNCTAD.
The total number is increasing annually and is expected to grow further as a result of COVID-19 pandemic. However, the proportion of people using e-commerce in low- and middle-income countries is much lower compared to high-income countries. For example, in countries such as Switzerland, more than half of the population uses these services, while only 2 percent use it in developing countries.
Latin America and the Caribbean make up 9 percent of the world’s population over the age of 15. Although 346 million people had access to the internet, only 20 per cent made online purchases in 2019 making the region only over Africa at the UNCTAD e-conference. trade index.
Lack of trust in postal services, as well as barriers to obtaining a bank account that supports digital payment, are among the main reasons why Latin America does not buy global e-commerce.
According to Pierangela Sierra, the lack of education and access to technology also pose significant obstacles, particularly among low-income populations.
“When you begin to understand where the niche for potential new businesses lies, you realize that it is in e-commerce, biotechnology and everything related to technology. There is a huge need for access to education in all of these areas, Especially for women. “
Ms. Sierra advises women to challenge gender stereotypes.
“They always tell you ‘Oh you’re a bad driver,’ or ‘You’re not good at using a computer.'” In the tech industry, similar myths targeting women and sometimes, We even believe them ourselves and may feel incapable. We feel that if we do not study something related to technology, we will have nothing to contribute in this field, which is not true at all. The competencies you may have in terms of motivation, strategy or leadership can put you – as in my case – at the helm of a functional team and company.”
According to data from UN WomenCurrently, only 45 percent of women worldwide have access to the Internet, while most cell phones are in the hands of men. Moreover, while girls around the world tend to outperform boys in reading and writing, they are still underrepresented among the top performers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
Furthermore, women make up less than 10 percent of the people who design and prototype tech products. UNESCO.
The founder of Tibet firmly believes that in order for women to break into the technology sector, they must mobilize their entire community to create a positive and lasting economic impact on society as a whole.
“Women always strive to educate the next generation: whether they are children, sons, sisters, or a companion mother.…for every woman who supports it, the multiplier effect always amplifies the effect exponentially. The moment you give a helping hand to a woman, you help up to 20 other people as well,” she explains.
The tech entrepreneur, who has held leadership positions at companies like Coca-Cola and Colgate, told UN News that her leadership and determination have been hallmarks of her throughout her career. This is why she has always been passionate about promoting and supporting her female colleagues.
“While it’s true that securing yourself a place at the top table is a great feat, it also depends on our ability to believe in ourselves,” she explains.
as part of UNCTAD programme, Pierangela Sierra will offer a master’s course at the end of 2021, geared towards women ready to craft their own business plan for the technology sector.
The goal is to identify and train women leaders from the technology sector and across the continent, who in turn can, Positive impact on other women within their countries and communities. Ms. Sierra explains that the multiplier effect will ensure more women-led businesses and projects. Ultimately, promising projects will be presented to investors.
words of wisdom
For Pierangela Sierra, it was the single biggest mistake she made as an entrepreneur that she had never made before.
“For me, entrepreneurship is about freedom. The motivation behind that freedom, this balance we seek as women often, stems from our passion, from our dreams; but primarily from the ability to contribute enthusiastically toward building a better future.”
Tipti founder highlights that The most important thing for a woman is to learn to believe in herself and her dreams.
“And this will be my message to all the self-doubting people: Find the inspiration within yourself to start your own business and let this force drive you toward freedom and fulfillment of your dreams.”