Page 1

WEGrow A success story: Sonia Hess Brazilian high-growth woman entrepreneur


Sonia Hess: A Brazilian high-growth woman entrepreneur

About the MIF The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) works to support economic growth and poverty reduction in Latin America and the Caribbean through the promotion of investment and private sector development. As part of its program, the MIF seeks to support entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises by creating a favorable ecosystem for early stage financing through angel investing, seed capital, and entrepreneurship. For more information, please visit www.fomin.org.

About EY EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies over the world. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver our promises to all of our stakeholders. In doing so, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities. For more information about our organization, please visit: www.ey.com/mx.

This publication forms part of the study “WEGrow: Unlocking the Growth Potential of Women Entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean.” It was commissioned by the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB), to EY. It has been prepared by EY Mexico with the cooperation and supervision of the MIF’s Early Stage Equity Group. The following people participated in the review process from the MIF: Susana GarciaRobles, Monica Pina Alzugaray, Rebeca Granda Marcos, Xuan-Trang Ho and Elizabeth Terry.

© 2014 Inter-American Development Bank. All rights reserved; may be freely reproduced for any non-commercial purpose. The opinion expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the InterAmerican Development Bank, its Board of Directors, or the countries they represent.

© 2014 Mancera S.C. Member of Ernst & Young Global All rights reserved

WEGrow: Unlocking the Growth Potential of Women Entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean

2


Sonia Hess: A Brazilian high-growth woman entrepreneur

Sonia Hess was born in Brazil to a family of entrepreneurs. She is the sixth daughter in a family of sixteen children. In 1957, her parents founded the textile company Dudalina. As a result, she has been actively involved in the textile manufacturing industry from a young age. She is currently the President of Dudalina, one of the largest textile firms in Brazil. Forbes named th her the 6 most powerful woman in Brazil.

“Today, 12% of our company’s profits are shared among our employees.”

“My father, Mr. Duda, was a poet, and my mother, Mrs. Adelina, was a great entrepreneur.” Sonia studied business administration and confection production technologies. Upon completing her studies, she gained international experience by working in Spain.

HOW DID SHE GET STARTED? In 1976, when she was 21, she decided to get some work experience outside the family company. In 1984, she decided to return to Dudalina, and has been running the company since 2003. One of the main changes Sonia faced was implementing a profit-sharing plan, which she says helps make employees feel they are an active part of the company. She emphasizes that entrepreneurs must find ways to transform their employees into active participants in the business. Dudalina employs more than 2,500 people and every year, Sonia visits all the company’s factories and personally delivers a gift to each employee. This is her way of acknowledging that success is attributable to everyone involved in the business process.

WHAT CHALLENGES DID SHE FACE? Sonia says that the challenge of being a woman working in a male-dominated world opened a door for her to find a balance between her personal and professional lives. Women entrepreneurs still have to play many roles in society. If they are under too much pressure or don´t have enough support they may decide to give up on their business. However, those who choose to overcome adversity succeed, believes Sonia. “Thanks to my experience growing up with eleven brothers, I consider myself to be a woman who knows how to get around a male-dominated world”.

Cost management is something that Sonia oversees, and she describes herself as a very rigorous comptroller. As soon as she became the President of Dudalina, she gave a pair of scissors to each director and said, “Costs are like fingernails: if you don't cut them, they will grow."

WEGrow: Unlocking the Growth Potential of Women Entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean

3


Sonia Hess: A Brazilian high-growth woman entrepreneur

collection for women, starting with a line of blouses. For Sonia, expansion required the development of new products. As a result, between 2010 and 2013, Dudalina increased its footprint, and now has a total of 94 stores.

INNOVATION: PENETRATING NEW MARKETS. Dudalina used to manufacture clothing for men. In 2010 the company decided to develop a

Dudalina is one of the largest textile manufacturing firms in Latin America. It also distributes name brands with a   

wide mix of products. Dudalina has the following in-house brands that target their main market segments: Dudalina Dudalina Feminina Individual

http://www.dudalina.com.br/  Base

WHAT ARE SOME LESSONS LEARNED FROM PAST EXPERIENCES? Sonia describes herself as a positive person. She could be at the airport at 5 am without getting any sleep, and she would be fine. Not even exhaustion can change her positive mood. “I am always looking for opportunities, never focusing on the difficulties we might have to face.”

WEGrow: Unlocking the Growth Potential of Women Entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean

4


Sonia Hess: A Brazilian high-growth woman entrepreneur

WHAT ARE HER AMBITIONS? “I plan to expand my business to Panama.”

Best advice ever received…

Thanks to her company’s success in Brazil, she is planning to expand to Panama. Sonia has created strong networks with people who possess good technical and managerial skills. Her regular attendance at and participation in forums and other business associations has also enabled her to expand her network and build relationships and alliances that benefit her business.

“Costs are like fingernails: if you don't cut them, they will grow." -------------

Greatest mistake ever made…

Sonia describes herself as a practical person who performs tasks quickly, and admits that she sometimes makes mistakes.

“Of course I made mistakes… A lot of them.”

“Even when running an errand, while thinking or making decisions, of course I make mistakes. But these are part of the learning process.”

WEGrow: Unlocking the Growth Potential of Women Entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean

5


Sonia Hess: A Brazilian high-growth woman entrepreneur

FROM ENTREPRENEUR TO ENTREPRENEUR, THREE PRACTICAL TIPS FOR BECOMING SUCCESSFUL:

Being an entrepreneur is making mistakes and sometimes having to face hardships.

Being an entrepreneur is working together with people, respecting them, and liking them.

Being an entrepreneur is being happy.

WEGrow: Unlocking the Growth Potential of Women Entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean

6


Sonia Hess: A Brazilian high-growth woman entrepreneur

WEGrow: Unlocking the Growth Potential of Women Entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean

7


Sonia Hess: A Brazilian high-growth woman entrepreneur

We’re making it our purpose to help build a better working world, starting with yours.

Multilateral Investment Fund 1300 New York Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20577

ey.com/betterworkingworld Facebook: EY_Mexico Twitter: @EYNewsMexico

mifcontact@iadb.org Facebook: fominbid Twitter: @fominbid

www.ey.com/mx

www.fomin.org

WEGrow: Unlocking the Growth Potential of Women Entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean

8

Sonia hess e book english  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you