Claudia Ardila O
Claudia Ardila O is a Professional in Finance and International Trade, Personal Finance Mentor, International Speaker, Author of the book “365 Personal Finance Tips, G-100, Colombia Country Chair in the Venture Capital & Innovative Finance wing, CFO of Mujeres Violeta, member of the WEF in Colombia and Content Creator on various digital platforms.
What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your corporate journey/venture/initiative.
Before being known as clauardilafp, I worked for a multinational company as an administrative manager. During that time, I advised my coworkers on their finances, but little did I imagine that it would become my passion. I resigned and focused on taking care of my mother. When she passed away from cancer, my life went from heaven to earth. I didn’t want to work; I didn’t know what to do with my life. However, things started to flow, and I rediscovered my love for reading. Gradually, each book and every person who came into my life helped me build my personal brand. The pandemic arrived, and I began creating strategies to assist people with their finances. Later, I shifted my focus to empowering women with their finances, helping them break free from economic violence, enabling financial freedom, and achieving their goals. Step by step, I became a reference in my field
Every industry that is now a large-scale, top-notch business once started as a small idea in the minds of entrepreneurs. What was that idea or motivation that made you start your business /initiative? What motivated you within to say YES, go for it!”
My mom was always my friend and the most important person in my life. When she passed away, I was left with many regrets about everything I wanted to give her and couldn’t—providing a home, traveling to other countries, etc. Everything seemed to revolve around money: if you want better education, food, housing, health, travel, etc. From all I studied, experienced, and read, I realized that finances are quite dull for people. However, if I could offer financial education in a simple, practical, and, above all, enjoyable way, everyone could have tools to apply to their lives and improve their outcomes. Being able to help women and everyone organize their finances so they can live to the fullest with minimal regrets has been my motivation in creating clauardilfp. Money is not an end; it is a means, and everyone, through a process, can achieve all their goals and live without money-related issues.
Tell us something about your initiative or current role. What is it about, and what impact are you trying to make?
Currently, as a financial mentor, I am focusing all my efforts on empowering women through personal finance. Additionally, I am working with migrants to help them integrate financially into their new environments. I provide them not only with tools to better organize their finances but also to create extra income and learn about investing. I consider two important paths: those who want to start a business and those who do not. Creating a career plan allows them to develop their skills, creating better opportunities for themselves and others. This, in turn, contributes to the economic development of both individuals and countries.
Your journey and your vision are very inspiring, but are there any achievements or accomplishments you would like to mention?
I created a course with Mujeres Violeta called “No more debts! Manage your money better,” focusing on women and gender equality. I also created a course called “Successful Finances” with an American company, targeting Venezuelan migrants. I have conducted various webinars, workshops, and conferences on these topics. I have volunteered in different locations in my country, Colombia, as well as in London and Paris, sharing financial education tools.Awarded by WEF Colombia Latam 2023 – Women of Excellence Award. Awarded by the annual WEF London 2023 – Exceptional Leaders of Excellence Award.
Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?
I would love to, sharing knowledge and experiences with young women entrepreneurs is a win-win. They have many great ideas, and I can offer them my expertise to help them focus all their initiatives. Being able to create a community or a knowledge network among all of us allows us to support each other and continue growing together, so we can all contribute to building a positive change in the business world.
Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women leadership today?
Currently, I see women leadership as a fundamental catalyst for the evolution of workplaces worldwide. Women are demonstrating an increasingly strong presence, effectively collaborating with their male counterparts and overcoming barriers at the highest levels of organizations. From my perspective, women leadership brings a diversity of perspectives and innovative approaches, enriching decision-making and business dynamics. My commitment to financial education and the empowerment of women entrepreneurs reflects my conviction that by providing equal opportunities and support, we are building a more equitable and prosperous future for everyone. Women leadership is not only essential for gender equality but is also crucial for innovation and sustainable success in the contemporary business world.
What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?
You have everything to reach as high and as far as you set your mind to, and to achieve it, leverage all the current tools. In the past, information was power, and it was very difficult to obtain, but now all the information is just a click away. The power that you, as young leaders, possess lies in how you leverage that information and apply it to your lives.
Secondly, share your story from a place of success, detailing how all experiences and obstacles have guided you towards a greater purpose. As leaders, you are impacting the world and serving as an example for other women.
And one last thing, create mutually supportive networks. In the past, negotiations and networking were focused on how we could individually gain more. True success, however, lies in figuring out how we can all support each other and lead each other towards success (continuous growth), without envy or ego.
From my side, you have my support. Feel free to reach out; I’ll be delighted to collaborate in any way I can. I already rejoice from the bottom of my heart for all the achievements you have and will attain on this path of impactful women leadership.