Laureate Student Ambassador: Gabriella Saporiti
Running a small business is no easy feat but Gabriella Saporiti is committed to seeing success.
“As a small business owner, I do most of the work,” said Saporiti, who is an MBA candidate at Universidad del Valle de Mexico (UVM), in Mexico City. “I have to contact my suppliers. I have to sell. I have to be a good multitasker. You have to give two-hundred percent of yourself.”
She’s also giving an impressive lesson in balancing, as she juggles her coursework along with her entrepreneurial lifestyle.
“I knew I needed to take my business to the next level,” said the Venezuela native. “I looked into the MBA and it seemed to be the right choice.”
Saporiti started her business, Carmelate, in 2017. Its name, a combination of her two most favorite things in the world: La Playa de Carmen and chocolate. She makes elaborate, handcrafted jewelry, where she incorporates sustainable and humane business practices.
The once engineer credits her studies, at UVM, for giving relevant and helpful insight into the world of business. “It wasn’t immediate that I decided to start a company,” said Saporiti, who made her first sale at an artisan bazaar—where she continues to sell pieces today. “The MBA has given me the answers to questions I’ve never considered and I’m really happy with what I’ve learned so far. I am applying all the knowledge in my business.”
But what started, first, as simply a hobby and then a way to make money, has now transformed into contributing toward the greater good.
“Here in Mexico, there’s a lot of gender inequality. Women don’t have the opportunity to study, their wages are so low, and it hurts me,”said Saporiti.
That’s why when her business began to expand, she hired a local woman to help her make the jewelry.
“I paid for her training and it was important for me to give someone an opportunity who has likely been overlooked so much in the past.”
Saporiti vowed this is only the beginning. “I hope to be able to be able to hire more women, very soon, full time,” she said. However, the once engineer, who worked at a casino, said she doesn’t want credit for doing what she described as being the right thing to do.
“I did this, not because I wanted some kind of recognition,” she said. “I do it because I like to help people.”
Saporiti’s desire to help people extends beyond her fair business practices and her work to elevate women. She also serves as a board member and volunteer for the largest foster home in Mexico City. In this capacity, her responsibilities include finding new sponsors and collaborators, facilitating non-traditional education and support opportunities for children, and channeling donations from individuals and organizations.
“My first love is the children,” Saporiti said with a smile. “I love playing games with them, reading to them, and helping them overcome challenges.”
And now Saporiti is taking on a challenge of her own, as one of six Laureate Student Ambassadors, who will travel to the United States to take part in the 2019 B Corp Champions Retreat.
“This opportunity took me by surprise but I’m extremely happy,” said with a smile. “I’m a bit nervous but I want to exchange ideas with those in my cohort. I want to meet people and learn what challenges they’ve been facing.”
And despite all of her success and having finished half of the coursework for her MBA, Saporiti’s said there is still room to learn from others.
“We all have different experiences and, of course, we can help each other and learn from each other and if I could offer anything to anyone, or help someone, I’d say this would be a successful trip,” she said.