Mexico City, MEXICO, December 11, 2020 — A graphic design graduate of Universidad Intercontinental in Mexico, Lilia Avendaño started out as a marketing manager at financial services firm Profuturo in 1996. But after two years, during a corporate restructuring, her project was canceled and her position cut.
Facing unemployment, when her supervisor asked for a recommendation for an outside contractor to handle their corporate branding, she offered to take over the project herself. Avendaño boldly founded Diseño e Identidad Corporativa (DIDCO), a signage design and manufacturing firm, in 1998 to serve that single client. With no experience running a company, Avendaño took on the challenge, and bit by bit, she acquired clients large and small to make DIDCO a success.
In 2013, Executive Director Avendaño decided to certify with WEConnect International. Participating in the organization’s training and events has strengthened her self-confidence and business skills, which she calls invaluable. She describes it as her best investment in nearly 23 years.
“It has allowed me to widen my network by at least 100 percent, both with businesswomen and corporate buyers,” Avendaño says. “I’ve had the opportunity to attend international forums and learn ways to make my company succeed.”
In fact, during a “complicated” 2019 for DIDCO, Avendaño followed the advice of Manpower, a member buyer she met through WEConnect International, on how to improve her business management skills and learn how to identify areas of opportunity for the company. She undertook an improvement and restructuring plan that uncovered potential customers, the importance of policies and procedures, backup strategies and personnel training. And it was well worth doing. She secured a contract with Manpower as a result.
Additionally, Avendaño attributes WEConnect International with helping provide greater visibility among member buyers to generate new business.
“From my certification as a diverse supplier by WEConnect International, in the last year we have grown 40 percent in turnover,” she says. “We have an exponential increase in the generation of jobs, training and development opportunities.”
Avendaño has used the knowledge gained to pay it forward and support women who start their own businesses. Since 2014, she has donated time to international women’s empowerment organization Vital Voices, participating as a mentor in the Mentoring Walk. Such volunteering brings women’s empowerment full circle–women supporting women inspires even more encouragement and growth.
“The fellow businesswomen that I’ve met through WEConnect International inspire me to keep pursuing my dream and fully develop my potential both as a woman and as an entrepreneur. “