This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is Press for Progress—a call to action to collectively create gender-inclusive environments. In celebration of the date, we’re shining a spotlight on some of the women and programs Barrick has supported over the years to bring about meaningful change for women in our partner communities.
In the last of this three-part series, we share a story from the Dominican Republic, where a group of female entrepreneurs from Sanchez Ramirez province have turned a business idea into a successful manufacturing company. The initiative flourished thanks to the expertise of consultants at the South Cibao Business Incubator—a non-profit organization established with Barrick’s support.
Candiver, the manufacturing company, has become the main supplier of cleaning products for local government agencies, hospitals, and other large businesses based in the province, such as the Pueblo Viejo mine—a 60/40 joint venture between Barrick and Goldcorp. This small business also employs more than three hundred women who sell Candiver products in their communities.
Candiver is owned by CEFORMOMALI, a non-profit founded in 1996 with the mission of eliminating poverty in the region, especially among women living in rural communities. A quick glance at national unemployment rates and trends puts the non-profit’s mission in context. A 2017 report entitled “Population with no income in the Dominican Republic” by the National Office of Statistics in the Dominican Republic indicates that the average unemployment rate from 2004-2014 was over 39 percent for women and less than 15 percent for men. The gap is wider in rural communities, where unemployment rates for women hovered around 45 percent, but stayed close to 15 percent for men. Most women in Sanchez Ramirez province live in rural areas.
That’s why Candiver was the first project to receive the support of the South Cibao Business Incubator. The latter was founded in 2011 after a municipal development plan (MDP) was established in Cotui, the capital of the province. Barrick covered all costs associated with the incubator for the first three years, but since 2015 it has continued functioning with the support of state-owned educational institutions and the funds of a small business the incubator created to become self-sustaining. Since its inception in 2011, the incubator has helped launch or scale up 28 local businesses.