Fernanda took part in our Road to Growth programme in Mexico from 2019-2020.
Fernanda Alva, who took part in the Foundation’s Road to Growth programme in Mexico, is an independent publisher. In this blog, she reflects how the Road to Growth programme grew her network and helped her support other women.
My name is Fenanda. I have run an independent publishing business since 2014.
I got divorced and wanted to support my family and be self-sufficient for my children. I decided to start my own business to support my family, and keep my independence. I wanted to be my own boss and make my own decisions rather than work for someone else.
My dad is a writer and was working with Penguin to sell his books, so I asked him if I could edit them instead. It was such a success and was the start of my business. Our books are about Mexican history and independence.
The most challenging bit about being a female entrepreneur is negotiating with buyers in a male-dominated industry. You have to stay strong and confident so that you are not taken advantage of. I learned to have the confidence to say no.
A friend encouraged me to find a business support programme and I found Road to Growth on Facebook.
Road to Growth helped me to have clear direction in my business, to understand all my financials and to ensure the company was viable. They helped me to make decisions about hiring, how to ask for investment and work out my market and costings. They gave me self-belief and helped me create solid foundations for a sustainable business.
Road to Growth was fantastic to help me understand business foundations and acquire business knowledge, there were 3 main areas of support:
- They held me accountable and I overcame many challenges. They helped me create a business strategy and objectives. They helped me realise the potential of the business and helped me bring my idea to life.
- I have made life-long friends from the community, who are like-minded, ambitious and understand and support each other.
- I have grown much more confident with numbers! The programme helped me overcome this fear.
Since R2G, I have secured investment to publish more books. I have also decided to keep a female heavy team, as I want to support single mums. I have an accountant, a designer and a delivery driver. We are now moving into the magazine industry and I am involved in research projects around gender, which I will be publishing next year.
I am also starting a course on teaching writing as I want to teach writing skills to women. My long-term goal is to buy a space and sell independent books. I want to stay independent and support the industry and show that every author counts!
Having the chance to be part of Road to Growth enabled me to realise my vision, potential, and meet like-minded amazing women achieving things for themselves.
Our Road to Growth programme in Mexico formed part of our ambitious 100,000 Women Campaign
Since 2008, we’ve directly supported over 160,000 women like Fernanda to grow and strengthen their businesses, and in turn support their families and communities. Now, our ambitions are growing, and you can help us achieve them: donate to our 100,000 Women Campaign today, so we can reach another 100,000 women by 2022. Road to Growth is highly scalable and adaptable, and the Foundation is actively seeking funding partnerships to launch it in new countries. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss potential partnerships!Donate now Partner with us
Discover more women entrepreneurs' stories:
Carlotta’s Story: supporting children’s development
Carlotta John's daycare centre was born from a passion for children's development. The Road to Growth programme enabled her to secure funds & grow her business.
Alana’s Story: boosting sustainability in Guyana
Alana Bunbury-Walton runs Guyana's first zero-waste store. Our Road to Growth programme supported her to propel her mission.
Nakaida’s Story: building a future for women in construction
Nakaida Belle-Lindie runs a construction business. Our Road to Growth programme supported her to strengthen her business.