4 Inspiring Women-led Initiatives around the World
Companies with a Fresh Approach to Business
Within almost every industry in the world, women have consistently and historically had less access and slower advancement. But when women have more greater access and more opportunities, we all benefit.
Women are an important part of business, not only because they represent 50% of consumers, but also because they bring different tastes, needs, values, and desires to the market. As gender equality becomes a critical topic around the world, women are starting businesses, innovating products, and creating initiatives. Although women still face many barriers to success, as more women break through these barriers, the less rigid they will become.
In addition, the more women-led initiatives become visible, the more they can contribute to our societies’ changing perception of women in business, and women in any industry.
Ready to break down the glass ceiling, anyone?
At Producers Market, we are proud to connect with a number of women-led or women-serving initiatives. With your purchases from these companies, you are supporting more than a singular business. You are bridging cultural divides, helping build peaceful and thriving communities, supporting gender equality, and putting love onto and into your body.
Here are a few of the most inspiring women-led producers in our network.
Sindyanna of Galilee
Is it possible to buy peace in a bottle? If only it were that easy! Olive oil from Sindyanna of Galilee is a start. This company is a female-led nonprofit that actively promotes the concepts of “business for peace” and “fair trade” in Israel. Since 1996, a multicultural staff of Arab and Jewish women have worked side-by-side with profound, functional expertise and passion for their craft and for peace.
Sindyanna of Galilee believes that empowering Arab women leads to empowerment of the Arab society as a whole, because women are more inclined to invest most of their energies and earnings back into the health, nutrition and education of their families.
Their work aims to bridge cultural divides, encourage sustainable agriculture, and support organic farming, and they have been bringing deep functional expertise to this work. They seek to provide opportunities for Arab women to develop their skills and access production, land, labor, credit, training, marketing facilities, and all publicly available services and benefits, so that they can achieve personal growth and become agents of change in their communities.
The women of Sindyanna of Galilee sell Arab producers’ olive oil and other premium products in the international marketplace according to fair-trade principles and then channel all of the profits back into Arab women’s education. Their fair-trade products include organic and extra virgin olive oils, za’atar spice mixes, carob syrup, almonds, honey, olive oil soaps, and various traditional handicrafts.
This company is an agroindustrial cooperative that practices family agriculture in the Puno region of Peru. Coopain Cabana is recognized nationally and internationally for its leading organizational model, which involves more than 600 families in the cooperative, 70% of whom are women farmers. They are a pioneer at the national level in the production of organic quinoa and cañihua.
While this cooperative isn’t specifically women-led, they place high value on equity, focusing on sharing responsibility and rights for equality of all members. This belief in equality extends beyond the human members and encompasses Mother Earth and nature. Coopain Cabana uses traditional knowledge and practice to maintain consistent harmony.
At the Castries Market in St. Lucia (the largest produce market on the island), 90% of the vendors are women. Most people perceive these women as only vendors, when in fact most are both producer and vendor. This misguided perception has essentially blocked female farmers out of commercial markets. In some instances, they are forced to sell their produce to bigger companies under the name of a male relative or spouse, as they do not have the requisite certifications.
Gender disparities are present across the St. Lucian labor force. As a result, the nonprofit organization Helen’s Daughters was born in 2016 to support rural women with adaptive agricultural techniques, capacity-building, and improved market access.
Helen’s Daughters aims to open up economic opportunities for women, which were otherwise unavailable. They connect both the old and new economies of agriculture and tourism to support each other, empower rural women, and foster thriving communities.
Lhamour is a social impact business, designed to take care of future generations, and founded on the philosophy of self-love, self-care, and caring for others and the environment.
As with many businesses, Lhamour started with a problem that needed solving. Lhamour’s founder had developed skin rashes due to air pollution and began investigating natural skincare products. After years of learning, studying, testing, and practicing, she realized she wasn’t alone and developed her own line of products.
Lhamour’s cruelty-free products are made by hand by a team of Mongolian women. They source high-quality ingredients and focus on environmental stewardship and social impact, continuously giving back through a variety of local and global projects.
They believe that products made by hand are made with love, and love is their philosophy. They aim to love their products, the earth, and their work—from how they source the raw materials right up to how their products are applied to the skin.
The women-led, women-serving companies, organizations, and cooperatives in the Producers Market network cover a wide range of goals and products. Within this diverse group, a theme emerges: When women have the space to create and lead, the earth and our communities benefit.
Stay tuned as we continue to add and feature more women-led initiatives in our network. We are as excited about the potential products and solutions to come as we are about the ones featured above.