Women Entrepreneurs from SJM’s Migrant Women’s Group

Patricia Azpelicueta and Isabel Acosta are the inspiration for other Women of the Jesuit Migrant Service of Valencia who are now recognised for their activist fashion ventures (@makayole) and Ontological Business Coach (@isabele.acosta).  

More than a year ago they decided to join the Reconstructing Stories group in the Women-Migrant area, where they talked about “Empowerment”, and empowered themselves, they talked about “enterprise and viability”, and created their own.

The women of SJM Valencia, an area coordinated by Angélica Zuluaga L., are following a path of accompaniment, reflection on the migration process and decisions, using art as a form of expression. They have performed several performances with stories about their own migratory experience, they wrote and read stories in the celebration of the Fair Trade Day in the Town Hall Square of Valencia, they have organised a Poetry Recital on the Day of the Christmas of the Peoples Celebration and even a Catwalk for Women’s Rights, they paraded slogans of: Solidarity, Equality, Respect, Integration and other concepts they wanted to make fashionable.

But they not only used art and words, they went further and worked on the possibilities of being their own bosses, imagining a dream: that of having their own business.

Through networking between the Jesuit Migrant Service and the Novaterra Foundation, they have initiated an inspiring path for many women who have decided to migrate, they had the strength and the SJM the necessary reasons to support their ideas, so these entrepreneurs have managed to start their projects thanks to the shelter of the SJM, the Novaterra Entrepreneurship Programme and funding from Caixa Popular. A programme inspired by the microcredit programme of Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus after his visit to Valencia two years ago with the help of Tandem Social.

COVID 19 arrives, as well as the state of alarm, but thanks to the commitment and credibility of Mavi Leida Fernández of the Novaterra Foundation and her accompaniment through ICT’s new modality adopted and the support of La Caixa Popular was a fundamental pillar for the support of the projects, is that they have reached this point.

This is how Ana Mansergas describes it so well in her Valencia Plaza article “Being an entrepreneur and a woman is not easy at first. And if you add to this the time of confinement, the matter becomes even more complicated. But sometimes the challenges are as complicated as they are wonderful, and this is the case of 4 brave women who have been able to get their projects off the ground thanks to the visit in 2018 of Nobel Prize winner Yunus and microcredits”.

Maka y Olé is Patricia Azpelicueta’s enterprise, dedicated to the online sale of Activist Fashion. A fashion that not only cares about being sustainable, organic and ethical, from the materials used; without pollution or labour exploitation; but also with a strong social and ethical commitment to different causes.

Their t-shirts, sweatshirts, bags and accessories have different collections and each t-shirt is a reflection and has a story. The Fine Art Collection where we reflect on “Universal Vibration”, “Microcosm and macrocosm”, “What is Identity?”, “The earth does not belong to us, we belong to the earth”, “The last source of pure water”; will not leave anyone indifferent. In addition to the Collages of the Valencian artist Enric Gimeno, who reflects on the “New Masculinities”, “The construction of Gender, “the Free movement of people” and our Eco Design as “The melancholy of the whales”, Water, “Black rain”, the Oceans, “Embrace Mother Nature”. You can find more info at @makayole.