Adriana Onega (25) is a native of Las Parejas, Santa Fe; and his partner, Luciano Ghione (26), from Emilio Bunge, province of Buenos Aires in Argentina. They met while studying in Rosario: she commercial engineering at the Inter-American Open University, UAI, and he Computer Science at the National University of Rosario, UNR. Together they created Empretienda, a platform that allows microentrepreneurs to set up their own virtual store to sell online and through social networks.

The startup emerged in 2016 as a draft business plan that Adriana was to present at the IAU. “I saw that there were many entrepreneurs in Rosario who wanted to start selling online and did not know how to do it,” says the young woman from Las Parejas.

One of the professors of the race, Jimena Tomarelli, founder of the NGO Criar, which promotes santa fe entrepreneurs, encouraged her to put this university project into practice.

“My idea was to put together a simple platform, so that anyone who knows how to use Instagram or Facebook can set up an online store, with logos and images of the products or the description of services, and start selling,” says Adriana. “My training comes more from the marketing side, but I had no programming knowledge, that’s why I partnered with Luciano,” he explains.

Project Background

During 2017 and 2018 they designed a PMV (minimum viable product), and began to spread it among family, friends and acquaintances. The users themselves were recommending and disseminating it in networks, until reaching more than 80,000 stores created, of which about 30,000 are active and receive 150 thousand monthly visits.

Until 2019 the business grew little by little. When it really exploded was in 2020, since the pandemic accelerated the digitalization of businesses and on the other hand more people sought to undertake and sell things online to generate resources.

Empretienda allows microentrepreneurs to sell physical or digital products from a download link. It offers various payment methods (from e-wallets such as Mercado Pago to bank transfers) and shipping; and in turn allows to generate coupons of discounts and offers. One of its differential features is that it does not charge a commission for sales, but a maintenance fee from $ 500 per month.

Entrepreneurs in action

“85% of women entrepreneurs are women. There are from girls who are starting to undertake to middle-aged women (such as Adriana’s own mother) who combine their current job or profession with an online venture and older adults who create their digital store to remain active, “says the founder of Empretienda.

As for the items, those with the greatest presence are clothing and footwear; cosmetics and skin and facial care, lingerie and accessories; toys and products for children.

The objective of Empretienda

The most present items in Empretienda are clothing and footwear.

“We have a catalog, Empreshops, where we group stores by categories. For now it is a platform that allows you to create e-commerce stores, but we want to turn it into a Marketplace (like Mercadolibre), linking the platform with payment and shipping systems”.

Another project for the coming months is to generate a series of online courses and training for entrepreneurs, on digital marketing, network management, personal branding, among other topics.

Today 17 people work in the startup and hire outsourced services of a dozen professionals. At first, most of the microentrepreneurs were in Rosario and Santa Fe, but today it has a presence in all the provinces. The next step is to expand to other countries in Latin America, starting with Mexico, where they hope to disembark in February 2021.

Author: Gabriela Ensinck. Source:

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Startup with social impact: from a thesis they created a platform for microentrepreneurs

Startup with social impact: from a thesis they created a platform for microentrepreneurs. Source: Unsplash. Credits: Jared Sluyter @jaredsluyter

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