chevron award helps Venezuelan women build small businesses

October 15, 2013 – Hundreds of Venezuelan women are learning business skills, employing others and improving their livelihoods through Vístete de Sueños (Dressed With Dreams), a program Chevron helped fund.

Started in 2012 by Venezuelan fashion designer Alberto De Castro and co-founder Eglantina Parés, Dressed With Dreams trains abused women to create and design clothing and gives them the skills to start their own businesses.

Alberto de Castro instructs a student

Alberto de Castro instructs a student at a workshop in the Dressed With Dreams design studio.

The program aims to help 100 women each year who are referred by organizations that address gender violence. The seamstresses' newfound financial independence benefits their households and employees, helping Dressed With Dreams impact an estimated 2,100 people every year.

"The right time came to address two issues I was passionate about—working against gender violence and preparing women for jobs as seamstresses," De Castro said.

With that in mind, Parés and De Castro participated in the Ideas Contest, a program that promotes innovation and community-oriented development. Dressed With Dreams received the Chevron Award for Women Entrepreneurs, which provided Pares and De Castro with funds to seed their idea.

"The Dressed with Dreams project aligns with the Chevron's goals to promote gender equality and empower women," said Susana Brugada, Chevron's public affairs manager in Venezuela. "That's one reason it was selected for the Women Entrepreneur award."

Published: October 2013