We recently had the opportunity to talk about equality in the field of social entrepreneurship with women, leaders of successful experiences. One of them, Sonia Spain, founder of Vegggie Animals, a company specialized in the manufacture and distribution of 100% vegetable feed for dogs and cats.
Describe your social entrepreneurship initiative briefly.
- I chose to be vegan and activist, and this, among other things, means that I choose to live producing the least possible suffering for others; for VeggieAnimals to exist there is no need for any animal to be exploited or killed. We try to be as coherent as possible and therefore we have special prices for shelters and associations, we donate hundreds of kilos of food to those who need it most, and we work with suppliers that fight against social exclusion.
Is there equality within the scope of social entrepreneurship?
- In my view, equality does not exist either outside or within social entrepreneurship. In a world "for men", something as hard as being an entrepreneur surely becomes even more difficult, being more persevering and constant, and continuing to work on our personal empowerment.
Have you perceived or experienced any situation of inequality due to the fact of being a woman since you started your path in social entrepreneurship?
- Totally. All the stones that I have found in the way of Veggie Animals have been put by men, from inducing fear or scamming, to take advantage of my inexperience and youth. Surely the character of each of us influences, we can be more confident, more insecure ... in any case I am very clear that, without a doubt, the experiences that I have lived as an entrepreneur would not have happened, or at least in the same way, if I would have been a man.
What slows women's entrepreneurship?
- It is possible that one of the brakes to launch ourselves to undertake goes together with our self-esteem, our fears, our emotions, and beliefs. Surely there is a social brake attached to that abyss that occurs when we leave the comfort zone, and then we have the panic to fail. And of course, having family and economic burdens makes it more difficult to take the step to entrepreneurship since others depend on you, and the economic uncertainty involved in creating a project often exceeds the desire to embark on a venture.
What measures do you think are necessary or implemented to achieve greater equality?
- The root of the problem is the mentality that exists. My opinion, as an educator, before I was creating VeggieAnimals, that education was the starting point. Yes, we adults can change in some aspects, but we have a very strong culture of manhood, even women who have it are so integrated without realizing it is a part of our day to a day. Therefore, I strongly believe that it is in the smallest, without acquired prejudices, in those who have to work on the true meaning of the word equality and what its commitment entails.

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