"InnovAgroWoMed allowed me to realize the dream of entrepreneurship, I went from ideation to implementation"
Tatiana Gisela Bagnis (Cañada de Gómez, Santa Fe, Argentina) began her experience in the agricultural sector through a social economy entity in Argentina. This entity was created by a group of agricultural producers who decided to create a mutual health insurance company to provide medical coverage to workers in the agricultural sector. Bagnis worked in different areas within the organization.
After settling in Spain, she was trained in the SEMILLAS Program for entrepreneurship and social innovation for women in the agri-food sector, promoted by Jovesólides in the framework of the EU funded project InnovAgroWoMed, and is one of the seven female entrepreneurs awarded with the ENI CBC Med Program's subgrants.
How and when did your business idea come up?
"Emprenderse arises from the need to transmit the experience acquired as a professional in administration in third sector entities for the development and implementation of enterprises. Throughout my career, I met many social economy organizations with great people behind them, fighters with real desires for a fairer economy. However, many of them lacked management tools to sustain their activities and ended up failing.
It became an obsession to find a way to help them, and in that search I found my place. Could I be a person who gives a hand to start and support someone in his/her entrepreneurial journey? I believe so, I am convinced that I can be that person".
What value does your innovative project 'Emprenderse' bring to society?
"I believe that I can bring concrete planning and management tools to ventures incorporating the triple impact vision, providing them with professionalism in order to provide them with sustainability over time. I always had the latent desire to become an entrepreneur, but I wasn't sure which way was the right one. Over time I discovered that I like to accompany people in their process of ideation, and at the same time I like to get involved in projects with purpose and clear commitment."
What prompted you to become an entrepreneur?
"What prompted me to become an entrepreneur was discovering the potential for the development of the agricultural sector in the Valencian Community; meeting women with good ideas, honest ideas; and the training offered by InnovAgroWoMed project and learning about specific technical tools.
Previously, I had not been encouraged to become an entrepreneur because I had some professional insecurity, I felt that I was never sufficiently trained, that they could not trust me. I also never had the savings to be able to invest in it, and at the same time, taking a loan generated uncertainty. Some time ago, some people offered me to be a partner or told me that I should have my own company and that made me trust myself a little more.
And so I was encouraged, training with Jovesólides and with the economic support of InnovAgroWoMed that I needed to achieve my professional independence."
How did the training period and the meetings help you to develop your entrepreneurial idea and overcome the initial problems?
Both the training period, the meetings such as the Winter Camp in Jordan (March 2022) and experiences such as the Agroforum "Resilient" in Valencia (November 2022) were very representative on a personal level, I met restless and diverse women, with the desire to do things to change the world from their place and that was mobilizing.
It had a great impact on me because at the beginning of the training I had recently emigrated and when I went through the meetings I was pregnant. The subgrant allowed me to make my dream of entrepreneurship come true, I went from the ideation phase to the implementation phase."
Have you encountered specific difficulties in your entrepreneurial process due to the fact that you are a migrant woman and pregnant?
"I have encountered specific difficulties in the labor market, being a woman. It was also difficult to think about work-family balance. By becoming an entrepreneur, these difficulties were modified. Now I work unconventional hours and it is difficult for me to divide my personal and work time, but I am gradually managing to find certain balance between my professional and personal life.
Personally, I believe that there are certain initiatives that try to empower women and give them some equity. Real proposals are needed, perhaps small initiatives that can be scalable. Emprenderse' intends to collaborate to that, to give its contribution so that other women entrepreneurs can materialize their dream of entrepreneurship in what they are passionate about but also in what is sustainable for them".
Tell us about what you have achieved so far and your expectations for the future.
"I have managed to have my first clients, to work as a volunteer for rural development projects (Ruralizable), to make agreements with entities for joint collaboration and to present myself with service proposals to the city council. My first clients are women, who today have their projects up and running, which fills me with pride.
My greatest achievement is to be able to see myself as I really dreamed of: undertaking, in a winding road but determined to do it. My expectations for the future are to continue volunteering in the rural sector in the financial economic area and to promote female entrepreneurship in the social economy sector.
In the future, i would like to work with online training programs in financial education, which will provide accessible knowledge to anyone who is interested no matter where they are from. I believe that knowing how to manage resources allows us to be part of the decisions we make, and that it is not others who decide for us".
What did the InnovAgroWoMed project mean to you?
"The project gave me the opportunity to evaluate myself, test myself and encourage me to become an entrepreneur. Throughout the program I understood that in order to change what we don't like or modify what worries us, we have to get involved. To get involved from our place means to make a contribution, to give from what we know, what adds value".
After your experience, what would you recommend to other women entrepreneurs?
From my experience, I think it is important to know how to listen. To be open to listen sincerely to the opinions of people who love you well, who can flatter you as well as those who can criticize you, because every comment counts. But above all be open to listen to your inner voice. Look for what you are passionate about, what moves you, what keeps you alive, what gives you a tickle in your belly. Why do I believe in this? Because it will be what you want to fight for, what you choose every day you want to do. Then that will make it possible.
Also know how to delegate, know the limitations or restrictions we have, and trust those who know. The best things happen with other people. We must always try.
Within the framework of the EU funded project InnovAgroWoMed, Jovesólides has worked for three years with partner organizations in Italy, Tunisia and Palestine in the development of a needs assessment, design and implementation of a training program in the four participating countries. Subsequently, different accompaniment, training, coaching and economic scholarships services have been developed to promote entrepreneurship and facilitate the labor insertion of women in the agri-food sector.
Thanks to this experience, 35 women at risk of social exclusion have been trained in Spain and to date, at least 54% of them are already working.