Difference Makes us Attractive
Bea Pellizzari was honored as an Ashoka ChangemakeHER, Changemakers's inaugural celebration of the world's most influentual and inspiring women. Find her fellow honorees' voices here.
Bea Pellizzari has dedicated 18 years of her life to transforming the public image of people with disabilities. She founded La Usina in 2002 on the principle that diversity yields collective enrichment.
La Usina integrates people who have physical and mental disabilities into the labor force by using a model based on market principles and professional standards, without resorting to quotas or preferential treatment. Pellizzari recognizes that finding a job is not simply a matter of charity, but is the result of making a strong match between workers’ skills and employers’ needs.
Four years ago, she created a very successful social business called redACTIVOS that promotes and distributes several products and services created by people with disabilities. In addition to generating income for La Usina, this social business has been able to connect a network of very important Argentinean and international companies that buy the products and services made by a network of people with disabilities.
In this short video, Pellizzari briefly describes her journey along the path of social entrepreneurship, and how entrepreneurial activities, joy, and happiness go hand-in-hand.
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT IN ENGLISH:
Hi, I’m Bea Pellizzari, from Argentina.
For the past 18 years, I have dedicated my life to changing the public image of people with disabilities, and what people without disabilities think about people with disabilities. For that reason, nine years ago, I founded La Usina.
Since then, we are working throughout the country, with several programs that allow us to get directly in touch with the public. Four years ago, we began to orient things towards the social business path in order to continue transforming the way people see disabilities, and also to generate genuine income to support our organization’s work. That’s how redACTIVOS was born.
It is a social business that sells and distributes products and services made by people with mental disabilities. In the next months, before the end of this year, we will be launching AmaGI, a clothing line for people with temporary or permanent physical disabilities.
Entrepreneurial work is a way to live in this world. When you are an entrepreneur and you have an idea, nothing will stop you. The message I could share with all of you is that I don’t do anything that won’t bring me happiness and well-being. Joy and happiness are a plus for everything we do.
I can’t imagine my life without carrying out entrepreneurial activities. I enjoy it a lot. I work a lot, lot, lot—and I have a family that supports everything I do, and understands me, and that is also a fundamental piece to move forward in life.
Bea Pellizzari is a social entrepreneur and expert in disabilities who has dedicated her life to changing the perception that differences are negative because she believes that differences embody the most fascinating quality of humanity. She is a social psychologist who is strategic director of La Usina.