In my last semester of university, I met an entrepreneur who had a company that facilitates access to health care for indigenous women in Argentina. Me and a friend asked if we could pilot his idea in Colombia. That was the start of our company Bive. The initial idea was that in Colombia, there’s a lot of problems with health care access. For example, through the standard system, appointments with specialized doctors could take four or five months to get, and private doctors’ appointments are too expensive. So, we have a pool of now 250 providers in different regions, and we secured special rates for Bive users. Users can access appointments at lower costs, in less than 10 days, with their membership card that costs around $7 a year. This benefits Bive’s 22,000 users, and is good for doctors, too, because they get more consultations. Today we partner with farmers associations to primarily target rural areas, because they are especially isolated from care.
Regarding gender dynamics: in my experience, I work mostly with women and it has been really good because I feel women are so committed to serving and I love having the opportunity to help women grow because there’s bias in society that prevent women from growing professionally. I did feel in some meetings early on that I was not treated the same as my male business partner, so I have felt an importance to create this path in entrepreneurship for other women.
It’s been particularly challenging with the farmers associations because all the leadership positions are men. So, I sometimes felt maybe they had a first impression of weakness and I had to say ‘No – just because I am a woman and I am young, doesn’t mean I’m not responsible and we can’t do business together.’ The stereotype is changing a little there, but the change is slow. But we just demonstrate what we can achieve, and fortunately, we’ve been able to continue working with them. Now we’re hoping to expand. We’re piloting ideas to identify what’s next.”
-Diana Quintero, #HumansofDukeSanford #MIDP ’22, on co-founding a social enterprise and what it means to be a woman in that space. (Final photo: Bive co-founders #womenshistorymonth