On January 1, 1959, with the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, the life of the population of the largest of the Antilles underwent a radical change in all aspects and, in the case of women, it has been said on nume- rous occasions that it was a “Revolution within the Revolution.”
From then on, women in Cuba began to play an important role in society, while continuing to be mothers, wives and daughters. They integrated fully into study and work, such that today 60.5% of higher education graduates are women, as well as 67.2% of technicians and professionals nationwide.
At present, women occupy a key space in the economic and social life of the country and, while the number is not yet significant, every day more and more of them decide to found their own projects, even in activities that were reserved for men.
In this issue we present some Cuban women entrepreneurs and the sector in which they lead.
May Reguera y My Reguera Studio
Creative director at My Reguera Studio, which specia- lizes in photo and video production, this young pro- fessional started her business because of the creative restlessness and the need to express herself as an artist that have always characterized her, as well as to accept herself and help others to do so as well.
“I am fortunate that I can dedicate my energy and time to so- mething that sustains me and that is my passion,” she said.
To achieve her purpose, she has had the unconditional sup- port of her husband, who has always been by her side. “He ins- pires me, encourages me, tells me off when I need it, accompa- nies me and takes responsibility in every step we take, we are a team,” she said.
All of this, she said, is what allows us, even now we have a baby, to continue to flourish and move forward, despite the obstacles.
For this reason, she thinks that the best advice for those who want to start their own business is not to stop for anything, obstacles can be used as fuel to move forward, she said.
Yulieta Hernández Díaz y Πlares (Pilares) Construcciones
Created in 2021 as Mipymes (Micro, small and medium-sized en-terprises),itsmainpromoter, engineer Yulieta Hernández, had started in the sector as a self-employed worker two years earlier. When she was able to study at Cuba Emprende - a projectoftheArchbishopricof Havana to contribute, among other things, to the progress of thecountry’snon-statesector- sheknewshewasqualifiedto start her business and that her wishes went beyond that.
When she learned of the Cuban government’s decision regarding the possibility of creating Mipymes, she set about founding her business, which she achieved with the help of friends who are now part of her company.
Πlares Construcciones SRL is now a solid company that offers numerous services: building construction, mainte- nance, repair and rehabilitation. It also does technical prepa- ration of constructions, free of charge, for new ventures that need to establish the cost of repairing, maintaining or building their premises, for feasibility studies, credits and requests for materials.
The company continues to grow and is implementing other activities, including facilitatingtraininginbuilding trades.
Adriana Heredia y Beyond Roots
The young economist changed her profession (2016) to develop a community project in the Guanabacoa neighborhood where she lives, with the aim of bringing people closer to Afro-Cuban traditions and, after a year, there were already 22 members.
From then on, she began to venture and develop different activities up to her five current lines of business, all related to the customs inherited from the continent of her ancestors.
She now has beauty salons for the proper treatment of curly hair, an atelier with clothing based on fabrics with African motifs, a printing service and a creative and digital marketing group to promote the aesthetics and identity of African origin.
Nayvis Díaz Labaut y Velo-Cuba
Afew decades ago, for a woman to be a bicycle mechanic would have been considered impossible or absurd. Today, however, the so-called “weaker sex” - which is far from being so - has shown that it is capable of taking on any job, no matter how complicated.
One example is Nayvis Díaz Labaut, an industrial engineer who switched the office for a bicycle repair shop so she could contribute to developing sustainable mobility and training workers, on the one hand, and for her love of sports and healthy living, on the other. With these incentives, she created her own business, initially a cycle repair shop, but now she has gone further. She also has the country’s first training school for mechanics, duly certified, which has already graduated more than 87 technicians.
It is the only bicycle mobility company on the island, which also manages the country’s first public bicycle system in Havana: Ha ‘Bici. It provides courier and bicycle rental services as well, organizes bicycle tourism routes around the capital and to other destinations on the island, and has a community project to promote the use of these vehicles among the younger generations.
Ana Mahe Inda: Habana es nombre de mujer y El mundo de Amalia
For Ana Mahe Inda, her first incentive in entrepreneurship was in 2011 with her father’s project: to create an EFCH photography school to impart knowledge about digital imaging. From the beginning, it was a family business that grew and con- solidated.
During the difficult time of COVID-19 the photography school evolved in such a way that it became a space for exchange, a virtual-only space where people socialized.
In 2019 she created Habana es nombre de mujer, in order to sup- port female entrepreneurs in the area of advertising images, as well as giving them advice in that field.
Later she decided to start a new project: El mundo de Amalia, tar- geting emotional education and applying neuroscience to educa- tion, with the aim of helping chil- dren in their learning. For this, they organize workshops and other acti- vities that contribute to good infant development.
To see them be children is the best gift!