Lis Suarez

Ashoka Fellow
Canada, North America
Fellow Since 2011
FEM International


This profile was prepared when Lis Suarez was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2011.
The New Idea
Through her organization, FEM International, Lis supports women working in highly feminized industries, such as the textile and fashion industry to lift themselves out of poverty by giving them the tools to be ecologically and socially-conscious entrepreneurs, while also turning them into peer supporters through global volunteer experiences, where they share their skills with and learn from women from the global south. Lis teaches women micro-entrepreneurs how to incorporate sustainable practices, social responsibility, recycling, and waste reduction into their businesses. These life-changing global experiences give immigrant women the confidence and practical experience to turnaround their lives, and create long-lasting impact.

Women bring their cultural knowledge and design skills to FEM International, which trains them to build their business plans, and make their products sustainable and marketable. Lis teaches the women how to network, build partnerships with the private, public and citizen sectors, while developing the necessary leadership skills to confidently begin and grow their businesses.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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