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Lula Mena

2017 Mentee

Founder, General Manager, and Lead Designer, Lula Mena

El Salvador

Raised in San Salvador, Lula grew up around art design-her grandmother was an artist who painted, designed, and created furniture, hats, and other pieces. From their close relationship, Lula developed a passion for crafts and went on to study Artisanal Design at Universidad José Matias Delgado. It was during these early years of her career that she began engaging with communities of artisans.

Lula is the Founder of her brand, Lula Mena, where, under rules of fair trade, she designs and produces lines of handmade products created by communities of women in rural, high-risk areas. Her focus is to empower women by providing them with steady jobs to improve their quality of life, while simultaneously helping the development of their communities. All of her designs are based under the following five principles: handmade, ecofriendly, women empowerment, fair trade, and innovation. Lula has developed Corporate Social Responsibility projects together with private companies and NGOs, which have had objectives of cultural rescue, social and environmental impact of El Salvador.

Lula’ s leadership experiences include participating in the VV Grow Program at Vital Voices, presenting at Women Emerging Leaders in Japan, and speaking in the Leadership Conference by Novus in Houston, Texas. Her awards include: Women Exporter of the Year 2014 by COEXPORT, Women Entrepreneur 2016 by Vital Voices, Finalist of the Design Biennial held in Spain for Best Sustainable Design, and Art & Culture 2017 Award by Rotary International. Through her first art exhibition called “Nidos de Lula Mena” in 2019, she contributed to the rescue of traditional techniques through pieces of art that were created by groups of women, under the rules of fair trade, creating collective art. This exhibition has been the most visited of the Museum of Art of El Salvador (MARTE).

Lula received the Dahrendorf Award 2019 in England for her contribution to Responsible Capitalism presented by HRH Princess Anne, daughter of Queen Elizabeth.


Molly Ashby, Solera Capital; Sherrie Westin, Sesame Workshop