Happy Women's Entrepreneurship Day! 

We all have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season, as do the artisans and entrepreneurs you help empower through your support of SPI.  We are celebrating Women's Entrepreneurship Day (Nov 19) by announcing that a record number of women and other marginalized entrepreneurs have completed our capacity training program in Peru! Thanks to you, SPI is continuing to build futures and save pasts around the world with unparalleled success. 

Our WAUMAKI KISIWANI initiative has already sold more than $3,000 of food at Kilwa .

What we've been up to

This year was an especially big year for our projects in Tanzania and Peru. In Tanzania, our WAUMAKI Kisiwani women’s group is kick-starting their business near the ruins of one of East Africa’s greatest empires. In Peru, SPI launched our long-awaited ESCALA Business School. The men and women attending ESCALA are participating 
in intensive workshops, teaching them how to successfully build a business model that sells products profitably and sustainably. With your continued support, local entrepreneurs and their families are enjoying a holiday season filled with joy thanks to new opportunities and sustainable income made possible by SPI projects. 
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Empowering More Women with ESCALA

Eager participants attend the ESCALA Business School launch event near Lima, Peru. 
Our capacity building program has successfully trained and aided numerous women and others in Tanzania, Guatemala, Bulgaria and Peru to be entrepreneurs and business people.  Our curriculum’s success has led to the establishment of SPI’s ESCALA Business School! (ESCALA is the Spanish word for ladder, and stands for Escuela de Negocios para la Conservación y Avance de Latino América).  

We are starting in Pachacamac, Peru, site of the ancient pan-Andean pilgrimage center,  where 50 participants were accepted out of 109 applicants to partake in this innovative program designed to empower disadvantaged entrepreneurs.

ESCALA not only teaches participants how to manage their own businesses sustainably, but it also teaches them how to earn a living wage for themselves and their employees. Over half the participants already run a business of some sort and over 70% of ESCALA Business School attendees are women! Completing ESCALA will allow people from impoverished areas to take advantage of business opportunities that can successfully lift them and their communities out of poverty.  And our studies show that the extra income women generate is spent on their children's health and education, an important investment in both the present and future generations.
 WAUMAKI Kisiwani Opens For Business in Tanzania 
The site of Kilwa Kisiwani, Tanzania dates back to the 8th Century AD.
The UNESCO World Heritage site of Kilwa Kisiwani is located on a small island off the coast of southeastern Tanzania where thousands of tourists visit each year. The site holds tremendous cultural and historic significance to the local community and visitors alike. Although Kilwa receives a significant number of tourists, the local community is struggling to take advantage of this economic opportunity due to limited business skills.

SPI is partnering with a group of women living near the site to create the WAUMAKI Kisiwani project aimed at empowering female entrepreneurs invested in preserving cultural heritage and building a better future for themselves. Local stewardship and economic benefit are vital for  tourism to be sustainable at Kilwa Kisiwani.            
WAUMAKI is an acronym for WAnawake Utamaduni, na MAgofu KIlwa Kiswani loosely meaning women, culture, and ruins in the Swahili language. The women have attended SPI’s mini business school in order to develop their existing craft and culinary skills, create new products and recipes, and train in business and marketing techniques. Read more here
WUAMAKI members prepare and sell a traditional dish of pickled mango and roasted fish for site visitors.  Come try it!
Prosperous Futures Start With You
With the holiday season upon us, we invite you to help us bring basic business education to more women and other marginalized entrepreneurs so they can sustainably and independently run and grow their own businesses. Your donations lifts dedicated entrepreneurs out of poverty, leading them to become more resilient communities and protectors of their own heritage. 

So many of our cultural legacies are being destroyed for economic exploitation: looting, agriculture, mining, energy extraction, commercial use, and residential developments just to name a few. Amid all the discussion of heritage loss, it can be daunting to imagine how we can save archeological sites. The best way is to empower more women and train more entrepreneurs.  With your help, that's what we will do!

Contribute here or send a check to the address below. Thank you for all that you do! 

Larry Coben
Sustainable Preservation Initiative
40 West 22nd St., 11th Floor
New York, NY 10010    

SPI is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit. Our tax ID is 27-2704326.

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