Sitawi supports social business focused on female entrepreneurship

Rede Asta is a social business that supports the protagonism of women artisans in the creation and development of sustainable solutions based on the reuse of waste. By connecting labor to make corporate gifts from waste from large companies, the organization led by Alice Freitas, Miriam Lima and Rachel Schettino provides a re-signification of the lives of women entrepreneurs, the materials that would go to waste and the way in which organizations consume and discard them. 

Sitawi supported the initiative through the Socio-Environmental Loan mechanism, enabling the purchase of complementary materials to make gifts for a large client. The offer of patient capital made it possible for the production cycle not to be broken. “Rede Asta is a business with a proven and relevant impact for low-income communities and, mainly, women artisans who manage through the network to have access to a constant corporate demand, logistics network and professional training. In this way, it constitutes a business with a relevant socio-environmental impact for society”, commented Marcela Miranda, Social Finance analyst at Sitawi.

With an inclusive essence both for those who make it and for those who buy it, Rede Asta offers corporations the production of sustainable handcrafted gifts with techniques of upcycling from the company's own waste. For artisans, entrepreneurial vision training focused on the manufactured market, creation of networks between businesses and access to the market of buyers of artisan products and services. In addition, it maintains a Business School for Artisans, which aims to teach how to manage income from products, empowering and making artisans independent.

“Each product has an incredible story and we live those stories every day. We saw artisans take courage to let their violent husbands after realizing that, with the sales of their products, they have value. We saw their children come to respect them, as they positioned themselves differently in the family, be it putting money, appearing in magazines, receiving special visits. Having his work known and recognized”, commented Alice Freitas.

According to the World Bank, women are responsible for 75% of purchasing consumer goods and allocate 90% of their income to the family. In the case of men, this percentage is less than 30%. There is evidence that women can be a powerful engine of economic growth. Estimates indicate that if the female employment rate coincided with the male one, the US GDP would increase by 51TP3Q. In developing countries, the effect would be even greater, the Egyptian economy, for example, would see an increase of 34%. (Source: Empowering the Third Billion, Women and the World of Work in 2012, Booz&Co).

Brazil is still a country with strong gender exclusion. Even though they are the majority of the population, women find it more difficult to enter the labor market and, when employed, have lower wages than men. One of the network's entrepreneurs comments on her emancipation through work. “I have always been a housewife and dependent on my husband. But joining Rede Asta, I was able to try it out and proudly say that I already bought many things for my family with my own money?, declares Antônia Gonçalves, from the group Meninas Arteiras. 

Over seven years, Rede Asta involved 74 productive groups, supporting more than 1200 artisans. All this work involved the reuse of 12 tons of materials. “Rede Asta wants to be a desired option for consumption, a brand that delivers more than just what the consumer needs or wants. It also conveys the awareness that consumption can generate good and mobilize a production chain that, fed back, generates exponential dividends for people, communities and the environment”, published the organization in its impact report.

Know the case

Sitawi supported the initiative through the Socio-Environmental Loan mechanism, enabling the purchase of complementary materials to make gifts for a large client. With the offer of patient capital, it enabled the productive flow of the organization. Meet the asta network

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