Thirteen women in the province of Esmeraldas joined forces to form an association to make institutional uniforms and clothing in general. One of the main challenges is large-scale production to fulfill major contracts. The quality of their work along with the organization’s potential prompted the private enterprise, in this case OCP Ecuador, to contribute to the growth of this entrepreneur initiative.
After a process of machinery implementation, these women took over the finances of their homes and transformed their lives and that of their families. One of the representatives of this association recalls here the history of this textile company and explains how they have overcome challenges.
“My name is Catalina and jointly with other co-workers we have made possible the work of the Association of Textile Industry Women of Esmeraldas. This entrepreneur initiative began as a community response to the lack of employment. We started with no money at all, by making raffles, selling food and then collecting all the profits to form the capital needed to make our dream come true: a factory of institutional uniforms, but also a factory to materialize our dreams.
We have been working with this dynamics for three years. It has not been easy, we had defeats, but from the very beginning we undertook to fight to make this project a reality. One day, I decided to address OCP Ecuador and propose a cooperation project so that our entrepreneur initiative could move forward.
The answer was prompt, they visited us, talked with us, saw that our work was for real. Then they decided to make a donation of machinery for us to start making the clothes faster and with better quality. In return, we have given our word to keep united and continue with this project.
This machinery has been helpful in that we have been able to fulfill important contracts. There were times when we made 4000 uniforms for state-owned companies.
These tools have complemented our work, and we are very happy and thankful to OCP. I keep telling them not to forget about us, because we have moved forward thanks to them. Now that OCP is reaching its 15th anniversary, we wholeheartedly send our congratulations, and hope that the company continues growing, helping other groups, trusting in the groups formed, and that there are good and committed initiatives. There are groups with the vision for change, improvement and self-support. Our message is that as OCP has trusted in us that other companies may also trust and contribute by helping other working women to make their dreams become true.
The doors of our premises are always open, waiting to help OCP with anything it may need.”