Pallay Peru Fondo Emprendedor

Interview with Pallay Peru: Sustainable fashion with social impact

Pallay Peru is a social enterprise that, aside from employing female weavers from the communities of Challwaccocha and Acchahuata, rescues the ancestral techniques and designs of the Cusco region.

The approach of Pallay goes beyond commercial, social and cultural ends. It also has an environmental impact; each product is handmade with natural supplies and environmentally friendly processes. Pallay is one of the social enterprises that have won the second call for applications by the Entrepreneur Fund, as part of the social innovation and impact investment program of the Wiese Foundation. To find out the result of being recipients of the benefits of this fund, we spoke with its general manager and co-founder Alejandra Rivera.

Pllay Alejandra Rivera

What learnings have you gained since the call for applications process up to now?

From the beginning, for us to participate in this opportunity offered by the Wiese Foundation was like helping us to look at ourselves as a company and say what it is that we really want to do, not only to stay as an enterprise, but to go a little further.

Since the call for applications and filling out the information for the application, it was already a process where it was necessary to clearly align where we are going, what we expect. And then, when we moved on to the due diligence stage, the accompaniment has allowed us to have very close contact with Claudia (Portfolio manager of the Entrepreneur Fund), who has been like an outstretched arm for us within the company, because together with her, and as a team, we have been able to carry out a strategic business model, lay the foundations of something that is fundamental to our growth, to upscale, and to take the leap and move to another level of management.

So, all that accompaniment that we received from Claudia, through the Wiese Foundation, was really key, it was teamwork, but let’s say that the fact that she gave us guidelines, the revisions and everything, helped us a lot in this fundamental stage of aligning.

Pallay Fondo Emprendedor

The accompaniment that we have also had from UTEC Ventures, with certain workshops that have provided us with tools, training, the fact of also sharing with other business endeavors that were also at different levels of maturity, seeing their approach, getting to know them, I think it broadened our perspective much more and also appreciating that being an entrepreneur is not easy at all. Although there are many challenges, seeing it also reflected with the other colleagues who were living this stage has been super enriching.

What are the plans that you have for the injection of financing that you received from the Entrepreneur Fund?

We have so many plans at Pallay. This year has been very tough for us. At the beginning of this year, a political-social situation was very tough, especially for departments of Peru, such as Cusco, which live directly or indirectly from tourism.

We have experienced a very strong blow to the tourism sector, and we are an enterprise where most of our profits come from tourism because they are the ones who value these Andean fabrics that we make. Our customer profile is rather high-end, usually foreign, who values culture, art, and handmade products.

Then, in a social and political situation of great uncertainty, such as that of 2023, the business entered a crisis situation where we have had to struggle and move forward. Surviving while maintaining this entire ecosystem that we ourselves have created with the weavers, the processes, the manufacturing. But, let’s say, without selling much.

Pallay Fondo Emprendedor Fundacion Wiese

If we compare sales in 2022 with those in 2023, the difference is 30% less. However, today this injection of capital is giving us a break so that we can continue creating, knowing and visualizing that a much better year 2024 is clearly coming.

We are going to be able to actualize and promote other sales channels. For example, B2B, virtual channels. We are going to be able to put a little more strength into the e-commerce part and, of course, an injection of capital also goes to production, because it is useless for us to develop channels if we do not have anything to offer. So, that’s how we’re going to use the disbursement that we’ve been given.

If you had to summarize in a couple of words the intervention that the Entrepreneur Fund has given to your social enterprise, how would you define it?

I think it’s strategic management. A key accompaniment that really gives you the foundations to be able to take this leap and reach another level. All of it has to do with that: with management, with strategy, with providing guidelines that help you grow. And in our particular case, this has been a tough year. Imagine, it has been a godsend to be winners of the Entrepreneur Fund. Because, otherwise, I think our company would have been at risk.

Explore all the winners of the second edition of the Entrepreneur Fund

Would you like to learn about the other 3 winners of the second edition of the Entrepreneur Fund and discover how this program has improved their social impact in their areas of influence? Learn more, here.

You may also be interested in:

  1. Impact investing: What are they and how can they help startups?
  2. How to generate savings funds in small businesses?
  3. Ideas for social entrepreneurship: How to create a new business that is profitable and helps others?

Más Novedades

Revalorizing the ancestral technique of weaving, with craftswomen from Ascope, La Libertad
In the collections of the different museums of Peru, one can see textile pieces made with the ancestral technique of...
Learn about the regional pedagogical experience in La Libertad
As part of the fifth season of the Educational Dialogs series on “Identity, Heritage and Citizenship”, of the Educational Quality...
Inclusive classrooms: for a more equitable society
Inclusive classrooms are much more than just teaching venues. They are environments where students can fully develop in all their...
Interview with Pallay Peru: Sustainable fashion with social impact
Pallay Peru is a social enterprise that, aside from employing female weavers from the communities of Challwaccocha and Acchahuata, rescues...
Impact investing: What are they and how can they help startups?
What is impact investing? These are investments that are made with the intention of generating a social or environmental impact....
Who are the student reporters? Culture and history of Chiclín
Student reporters was a proposal by the fourth-grade primary school students of the Rafael Larco Herrera school under the leadership...