Social Entrepreneurship as a Tool to Elevate Persons with Disabilities: An interview with Y&Y Fellow Gabriela Ferreiro, founder and Co-Director of Libertate

December 3, 2020

Y&Y: Tell us about Libertate. Why does it exist?

Gabriela: Libertate was born in the face of a very strong reality of exclusion that violates the rights of people with disabilities and joins in providing solutions to promote a more just, inclusive world that values diversity.


Y&Y: What’s the current situation for people with disabilities worldwide?

Gabriela: 15% of the world’s population has at least one disability and 80% of people with disabilities in economically active age are out of work (ILO). This is an indicator that is replicated throughout the world and that is further deepened if we consider women and people from LGBTIQ+ community with disabilities and those who live in vulnerable socio-economic context. This indicator of unemployment is generated by multiple barriers that prevent access to rights and opportunities, such as access to education, social spaces, to develop their sexuality with autonomy and the full exercise of human rights.


Y&Y: How does Libertate seek to promote their rights?

Gabriela: At Libertate we work to promote a cultural change that allows generating a culture of appreciation of diversity. All people are unique and diverse, but from our singularities and experiences, not all people have the same opportunities. We provide consulting and training services on Diversity and Inclusion and Digital Accessibility. From the Diversity and Inclusion business unit, we accompany organizations that wish to generate and implement a strategy of cultural change in diversity, disability and gender, working on axes such as labor inclusion, diverse and inclusive marketing, inclusive purchasing and social investment. In Digital Accessibility, we offer diagnostics and support so that digital products are accessible to everyone. Also we certify with the Appropriate Accessible Seal those websites and apps that comply with international digital accessibility guidelines. All our profit are reinvested in our Social Investment programs for youth with and without disabilities: GPESI Initiative from which we provide training in Comprehensive Sex Education (  and the Recycling with Inclusion Program, where we promote training and job opportunities.


Y&Y: In your view, what is the role of social entrepreneurship to make the world more inclusive for people with disabilities?

Gabriela: We believe that the historical social problem of exclusion of people with disabilities, which has various causes, but we can say that the main one is the cultural barrier, given by the invisibility of people with disabilities in society, which causes spaces to be designed without considering them . It cannot be addressed only by the state, or by the private sector, or by civil society. We believe that social entrepreneurship can bring new views and dynamic and innovative approaches, but always thinking in a network and generating proposals with people with disabilities to promote their rights,including always their voices and their demands.


Y&Y: What can readers do to support your work?

Gabriela: You can follow us on instagram @libertateempresasocial where we share information and resources to continue rethinking ourselves and releasing biases to learn to value diversity. They can hire our consulting and training services to integrate the perspective of diversity, disability and gender into their organizations. Also, you can you support us as a funder, to promote our inclusive social investment programs aimed at youth with and without disabilities: GPESI and Recycling with Inclusion.


Y&Y: What would you say to people with disabilities who want to become social entrepreneurs?

Gabriela: That they have a lot of value to contribute and that we need, as a society, more social entrepreneurs with disabilities, who from their own experience propose new projects, products, new services, new policies that transform our society and guarantee the rights of all people.

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