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The digital road to entrepreneurship: Vanessa Marcano

The digital road to entrepreneurship: Vanessa Marcano

Posted by Dubraswka Aguilar on February 21, 2014

According to the 2011-2012 General Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), the entrepreneurial spirit of the Venezuelan ranks as one of the highest in the world. However, the rate of "mortality" of the initiatives is also very high considering that, as in the rest of the world, business ideas fail in the first year.

But Vanessa Marcano’s experience shows a different -and very positive- reality. This Venezuelan, journalist and, above all, mother, is part of the elite of successful entrepreneurs, by having invested time, talent and resources to carry out a project that began in 2010 and already beginning to bear fruit: Pollito Ingles (English Chicken). In an interview with Panamerican World, Marcano talked about her experience as an entrepreneur: "Pollito Ingles born after the arrival of my Juliet " she says proudly.

"My endeavour was initiated through social networks. First, I identified an opportunity, placed a name that remembered my childhood (it comes from the game un, dos, tres, pollito ingles) and started working in a digital way seeking the exchange I wanted to make," he said.

What is Pollito Ingles?

First of all I must let you know that, as a new mother, I realized the huge spending on clothing, toys and accessories that I had to meet my baby’s needs so I understood that all women in the same situation would have the same problem. Seeing my daughter was growing very fast and had accumulated unused clothes I started writing content about motherhood and to offer over Twitter those items that Juliet had not used. Then I realized that many other mothers shared my reality and my story so I decided to create a network to buy, sell and exchange items.

How has social networking affected your enterprise?

We started with a Twitter account and, although growth was not the expected, I took the idea to my blog (pollitoingles.com) where I write about my experiences as a mom; then I opened a Facebook fan page. Today we have a platform for Spanish speaking moms having two clearly defined content: first, parenting and, secondly, entrepreneurial mothers. All information is published transversely. We have grown and we distinguish ourselves by maintaining the essence of being a community of entrepreneurship promotion and exchange of information that complements the business side.

Marcano says that the project acquired its shape when the fan page on Facebook was opened, becoming "a great platform to validate an idea that turned out to be very common. Not all social networks apply equally for a business to another, but always add up."

In your opinion, what is required to successfully undertake?

Leave a formal job, as the one I had, is a brave and risky decision, but very positive, especially in these times. Given the economic background, it is very important to look at the market, to know the reality in order to diminish the risk. It is important to evaluate some indicators to reaffirm that the idea you have is good. Of course it is key to persevere and to be constant (Pollito Ingles has begun to find its economic footing just this year). And even more significant is to understand that running is not as easy as imagined as you are building a project in the medium term. In Venezuela, entrepreneurship takes you to discover, seek support and be proactive. There are always barriers, but there are also opportunities and it is here where we must focus.

About this reflection, it is worth recalling that those who know about entrepreneurship emphasize that business ideas that are truly viable will begin to bear fruit after three years. Hence, constancy plays a key factor in later success.

How is living this venture at home?

There's a study on the loneliness of the entrepreneur to start a project that reflects the importance of family support. My family and friends were very cautious at first due to the high risk, so my decision was purely personal, it was a life decision, I felt that this was my world and I am happy. The contribution from my family has been instrumental to Pollito Ingles; in fact my mom, who is a child psychologist and my sister, who is a specialist in Marketing, compose 50 % of the workforce. I also count on the support of an advisory in Finance and a partner in Technology.

About Pollito Ingles

"Pollito Ingles was born in 2010 and a year later we dared to participate in the Ideas Contest, in which we were finalists with distinction as business idea. In 2012 we participated with 700 projects in the Wayra Award and were among the 10 start-ups that were going to accelerate that year. Also in 2012, we were semi-finalists for the social entrepreneur of the year recognition of the Foundation Venezuela Without Limits,” emphasizes Marcano.

The scope of the collaborative platform, as she defines it, has connected mothers from different parts of Latin America, who create a profile on the site and offer their products. Currently, 85 % of this community is in Venezuela and 15 % abroad, being Hispanic women in the United States the second largest group of readers.

"I am a lover of my venture and if I had to do it again, I would do it with eyes closed. It is a long way to go and I will not miss it," she said.

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