Margarita Viviescas knows that in business, adaptability is essential. “I am a person that can do a variety of jobs,” she says. Over the years she has worked as a florist, dressmaker, event designer, and even a masseuse. Margarita especially enjoys working with flowers because, as she says, “it always awakens a person’s imagination because each bouquet is different in form and size so it really needs a lot of creativity.” With her extensive talents and entrepreneurial spirit, Margarita has managed to build her own business, even as she raised four sons. Her profits have allowed her to afford educational opportunities for her sons so they could secure a better future, but she knew there was still more she could be doing to succeed in business.

To strengthen her business in changing times, Margarita knew that she needed to continue to adapt by honing her digital skills to better organize her finances and reach prospective clients. She learned about Ovante, an interactive digital platform developed by Accion with support from FedEx, through the local women’s foundation. She was interested in seeing how it could help her better manage her business activities. “I felt that a platform like Ovante could show me a lot of things that I would normally take for granted. It shows me how to organize things better.”

Ovante helps entrepreneurs like Margarita develop their business skills and learn how to use financial products and services responsibly. Ovante users build healthy financial behaviors that impact both their personal and professional finances so they can be resilient and plan for a better future. Shortly after completing the first module, Margarita said, “Ovante caught my attention because it showed me how to spend my money. I learned how to invest it, make it grow, and make a profit.” Additionally, participants learn how to apply tools like social media marketing and branding to grow their customer base — crucial factors for a business like Margarita’s.

Incorporating decades of insights from Accion’s global financial capability and business skill programs, Ovante empowers entrepreneurs to access information and improve their businesses in real-time. The program offers a series of online modules with a flexible schedule that fits the needs of individual participants. Margarita takes her courses at night because she works throughout the day. Discussing why this flexibility matters, she says: “I think it is very helpful that Ovante is digital because you can use it anywhere. It can also solve a problem because there is no set time that you are allowed to use this platform, which makes it much easier.”

Margarita in her florist shop in ColombiaMargarita sees Ovante as an opportunity to add to her skill set as a businesswoman and entrepreneur. She didn’t grow up with a computer or a mobile phone, and she hasn’t always been comfortable using digital technology. But she knows that unlocking those skills is essential for managing a business today. “Technology isn’t my best friend. I have never been good in that department, but little by little, I am learning.” By helping entrepreneurs build these skills, Ovante enables them to reach customers online, better track and analyze their business’ performance so they can make informed decisions, and even adopt new tools that allow for digital transactions.

A well-managed and digitally savvy business is in a better place to meet day-to-day needs, stay resilient during downturns, and take advantage of opportunities to grow. With the help of Ovante, Margarita has the tools she needs to modernize and grow her business so she can continue to unlock opportunities for herself and her family.

Ovante was designed and implemented by Accion Global Advisory Solutions and made possible by support from FedEx.

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