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Bolieve works with impoverished artisans from one of the poorest countries of South America, Bolivia. For each handmade backpack sold, they will provide a day of EDUCATION to an average of 25 poor kids from Bolivia which creates the perfect synergy for solving the most fundamental difficulties in poverty JOBS opportunities and quality EDUCATION.
City where you’re from: Tarija – Bolivia
Hobbies: play tennis, outdoor adventures
Favorite quote: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” by Nelson Mandela
Hey Gabriel Ruiz Auad, it’s wonderful to see a fellow Bolivian taking the initiative. What are you working on? How did you come up with this idea?
Gabriel Ruiz: It all started 6 years ago in Bolivia. At the time, I was very passionate about tennis. I made the decision to switch from day school to night school so I could practice during the day and then go to class after. Although I didn’t think it was a big change at the time, this experience made a huge impact on me… I quickly noticed that most of my new classmates were laborers that would work during the day just to afford their basic needs. It was very evident that these impoverished students lacked opportunity and financial support. Impressed with their ambitions and hard work ethic, I began to look for ways I could help.
I quickly noticed that most of my new classmates were laborers that would work during the day just to afford their basic needs. It was very evident that these impoverished students lacked opportunity and financial support
Upon my high school graduation, I decided to continue my education and tennis career at a University in the USA. I started to see the opportunities a quality education would give me and it was then that I was able to understand the importance of education.
My night High School in Bolivia was two blocks from these stores of artisans that make the most beautiful handmade backpacks I’ve ever seen. Impressed with the craftsmanship of these bags, I decided to bring one back for my American friend named Van and he loved it. It was then that I thought of the idea to sell these amazing backpacks and donate a portion to the money to help both the artisans and the students next door.
So then after a long time of trying to figure it out how to make this idea possible, I’ve decided to implement the one for one model but raising the bar and trying to make a bigger impact.
I’ve decided to approach the model in the following way, for each backpack sold we will fund a day of education for Bolivians in need. This way we tackle the most important factors of poverty, lack of education while also creating jobs.
Our Official Kickstarter just launched! Check it out here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/233028593/one-backpack-education-for-kids-and-jobs-for-artis
How is your company different?
Gabriel Ruiz: Bolieve will thrive to deliver to our customers the highest quality of handmade products and our main focus would be customer satisfaction, however, what really set us apart from other companies is the strong connection that we are going to build between our clients all over the world and the people that they are helping. We will provide to our clients every two weeks reports, and testimonials of our wonderful artisans and poor kids from Bolivia. Our main goal would be to develop a strong, durable, and transparent relationship between our clients and the people that they are helping.
What’s your dream with your company?
Gabriel Ruiz: The ultimate goal with Bolieve would be to build a store where people can find all kinds of handcrafted products made by impoverished artisans and as we grow optimize the ONE for ONE business model to deliver a bigger impact to communities in need around the world..
How do you creatively advertise?
Gabriel Ruiz: Bolieve uses our Social Media platforms as a main tool for advertising. We are currently looking for other avenues to spread our idea. For example, finding influencers, bloggers that write about topics related to our project, and we try to talk about our project in every face to face interaction.
What were your biggest failure and biggest success? What did you learn from them?
Gabriel Ruiz: My biggest failure would be to not start with social entrepreneurship before. I believe that social entrepreneurship is an outstanding way to create a sustainable impact in our societies.
Give the readers the best entrepreneurship advice you have.
Gabriel Ruiz: My advice to entrepreneurs would be to implement a social cause in their businesses, nowadays, people wants to help change the world therefore, besides creating a strong business we can develop impact that changes the lives of those in need.
What’s something new you’ve learned in the past month?
Gabriel Ruiz: For the past month I’ve been focusing intensively in social media marketing, email marketing, and PR.
Teach us something we don’t know (it’s vague and open-ended on purpose)
Gabriel Ruiz: The key for our success will be been obsessed on delivering a genuine customer service to our clients.
What should an entrepreneur focus on?
Gabriel Ruiz: An entrepreneur must be capable of motivating their team and transmit the vision of the project to their team.
What are some of the best books you’ve ever read?
Think and grow rich, how to win friends and influence people, rich dad poor dad, the promise of a pencil, start something that matters, the secret, etc.
Read our recommended books for entrepreneurs.
Where do you see yourself and your product in a couple years?
In a couple of years I envision my product to be in multiple countries around the world, evolving the giving aspect, launching more handmade products, and finding more ways to implements businesses with a cause.
Support Gabriel’s Kickstarter here: