Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs.
Spiffy here with the scoop on the changemaking leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Berta Argente, the founder of Blum Foundation. Let’s learn what’s happening at Blum and how Berta is making a positive impact in the world.
Spiffy: Thanks for joining me, Berta! Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through Blum Foundation?
Berta: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! Everything started from a simple idea: potential in women is equally distributed, but opportunity is not. Blum was born to address gender inequality by creating opportunities for disadvantaged women. We do so by building social businesses that generate opportunities in education and employment so that every woman can build her own future.
Spiffy: Very cool! What motivated you to do it?
Berta: Since I was a child, I never understood why I could have (almost) anything I wanted while other kids were struggling so much. It wasn’t until I was in business school that I realized that all that privilege could be transformed into a force for good. Instead of building businesses to make millions of dollars, I could build social businesses to transform millions of lives. Since then, I have dedicated my career to a purpose larger than myself: creating opportunities for the disadvantaged.
Spiffy: How would you say that your organization is working towards a more equitable world?
Berta: At Blum, we build social businesses to create opportunities for disadvantaged women. We operate like a factory but for social businesses. Each of the social businesses we build generates opportunities for women to regain confidence in themselves and achieve economic independence. This combination of psychological and economic empowerment is crucial to help them become agents of change with deep impact in their families and communities.
Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organization milestone or initiative. What impact does it make on your audience/community?
Berta: We recently received news that the Spanish Government will support us to launch a new social business that will train 360 women in cybersecurity in the next two years. The goal of this initiative is to contribute to the gender gap in the tech sector: today, only one in four professionals in the sector in Spain are female.
Spiffy: Tell me about an inspiring startup that your organization has helped to advance its impact.
Berta: The first social business we built is SHE Bistro. SHE Bistro is a restaurant where we offer training, employment, and community to women survivors of violence and youth with diverse abilities. In our first year, we trained 17 people. 85% of them are working today. We have seen a dramatic increase in their quality of life driven by higher incomes and increased levels of self-esteem.
Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Berta—it’s been an honor!
Berta Argenté is the founder of Blum, a foundation that builds social businesses to create opportunities for disadvantaged women. She previously worked at leading social impact organizations in Colombia, India, and Spain. She holds a BBA from ESADE Business School and a BSc in international development from the University of London. (Nominated by Josef Scarantino of Hubspot Ventures. First published on the Ladderworks website on December 15, 2023.)
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.
© 2023 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by George Romar. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.