Self-made Mexican businesswoman Mónica Peraza O’Quigley believes women are stronger together. Her great passion? Empowering female entrepreneurs and helping them thrive. Her creativity, commitment and discipline helped her achieve success at home and abroad. Success she now uses to propel other women and their businesses forward.
A firm believer of transformation and its ripple effect, she is dedicated to help eradicate extreme poverty among women by providing access to markets. With this mission in mind, Mónica co-founded The Etho with Sydney Sherman. The online marketplace built by and for women with the goal of empowering female entrepreneurs around the world to manage their businesses and scale them successfully.
The Etho holds the women on this virtual marketplace to a high standard, making sure all products are sustainable and respect mother nature. Mónica – who learned confidence from a grandfather that served as her very first mentor and encouraged her to work hard – holds herself to that same high standard both personally and professionally.
The Etho and its Mission of Empowering Female Entrepreneurs
Red Shoe Movement – Can you tell us about The Etho and its mission to change the lives of women around the world? How was it founded and how did you come to the conclusion that together we are stronger?
Mónica Peraza O’Quigley – Sydney (Sherman) and I met in January 2019 through an advisor and in a matter of 15 minutes we began to consider the possibility of joining forces and creating a company together. She brought the ethical verification process to the table and I brought the curation system for female-owned businesses. That’s how The Etho was born. We are Co-CEOs and we love it since each one focuses on what we like the most and when we have to make any decision it is much easier to make it together. We have absolute respect for each other and from the very beginning we made the pact that our relationship would always be the most important thing.
We are both committed to empowering female entrepreneurs around the world and eliminating extreme poverty, and the best vehicle to accomplish this is by offering access to markets that will pay fair prices for their products.
How does this platform empower women?
RSM – How does The Etho work? What is the process for an entrepreneur to sell their products on the platform?
MPO – We have an ethical verification process and once an artisan, designer or businesswoman passes the verification, they have access to our platform where they can sell their products and ship them directly when they receive an order.
RSM – You have done a great job raising funds for The Etho. Can you share the most important tips for investors to understand the value of your proposal?
MPO – The Etho is a company with great impact that is perfectly aligned with two global movements that are highly relevant at the moment. On the one hand, the empowerment of women through access to markets and on the other, sustainability through products that not only care for the environment, but that are made by companies that offer fair wages and safe conditions for the women who work there.
In addition, we have a team of women who have extensive experience helping to grow global companies and that gives investors confidence.
Finally, our pitch deck and executive summary are very complete and cover all the issues that investors need to make a decision. Fundraising is largely directly proportional to your network as the decision to invest depends on the trust they have in the entrepreneur to execute. Something only people who know you directly or through someone else know.
Get inspired by a successful shoe entrepreneur!
Building Future Female Entrepreneurs
RSM – Talking about empowering female entrepreneurs, you are a serial entrepreneur yourself. Could you tell us what this means?
MPO – A serial entrepreneur is a woman who has founded several companies, usually one after the other.
RSM – What are some of the qualities that young businesswomen must cultivate to become great leaders?
MPO – Working on your self-esteem is essential. Recognize ego, don’t let it blind you and learn to see things objectively. Being a leader is a position of great responsibility and personal work is a catalyst to become a better leader.
RSM – How can you introduce the importance of giving back to the community in the minds of future female entrepreneurs?
MPO – It is very important to give back to the community since the more we have the more responsibility we have to share. I especially feel like as a Latina woman in the US it is our obligation to open the road to other women who come after us.
RSM – Why do you think it is so important to have committed mentors? Can you tell us a bit about yours?
MPO – A mentor has the power to change your life. I have been fortunate to have several mentors in my life, but Teresa Lozano Long has been the person who has most influenced my life in the last decade. She has been very generous in sharing her immense wisdom with me and has taught me so much that her impact on my life and my business is impossible to measure.