Martha E. Wille
Martha Wille's father inspired her to incorporate social convictions into the family business. Through the Guillermo Wille Foundation, Martha is working to encourage other Bolivian companies to adopt Corporate Responsibility Policies. She is a social entrepreneur who is convinced that change can be achieved by reducing the poverty gap, incorporating women and handicapped minorities into the workforce, and being socially conscious.
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- For-profit Social Enterprise
- Workforce and Employment
- Areas of Impact
- Latin America, Bolivia
Coronilla was a traditional family pasta business until cheap foreign exports began to drive the business into bankruptcy. It was re-launched in 1997 by Martha Wille, the daughter of the founder, who diversified the company’s product lines to produce healthy, organic products largely for export to Europe, the US and Oceania. The reinvented company aims to be economically sustainable with a social conscience.
Coronilla aims to fight poverty by having a positive impact throughout its value chain. The company buys from local suppliers, supporting the production of organic produce in poor rural areas. Buying ingredients from local producers following fair trade principles, Coronilla provides a stable source of revenue for hundreds of families. It buys a large proportion of its prime ingredients from impoverished communities of the Bolivian Altiplano, providing a source of income and a chance to survive to the rural poor in the region. The organic food products it exports offer a significant opportunity to develop Bolivia’s economy. Coronilla is certified for social responsibility by the Swiss-based Institute for Marketecology (IMO). Coronilla employees have a very important place in the company’s strategy; a majority of them are women, minorities and handicapped people. Staff members benefit from continual vocational training and certified fair trade conditions by the International Fair Trade Association (IFAT). The company is also subject to Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) ecological and hygiene practices, and runs various environmental programmes. In addition to promoting organic agriculture, which is sustainable and more environmentally friendly than conventional agriculture, the company recycles its solid waste and was the first to respect the city of Cochabamba's environmental laws for companies. Coronilla’s business plan has been recognized for excellence at the Forum of Investors in New Ventures, winning investments from BID, CAF – Development Bank of Latin America, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the World Resources Institute. The challenge Coronilla faces is how to replicate its model across South America.