Thursday 4 May 2017
Doing business is an adventure!

Entrepreneurs are born or made? Two stories from Brazil

The Strengthening Program of Businesses of Inclusion and Communion (Profor) aims to support entrepreneurial initiatives with the characteristic of social inclusion and communion. The Program offers selected projects technical training and accompaniment, in addition to initial capital. To date, 10 companies have been selected and Roberto Luna, called “Campo Fertil”, is one of these.

Roberto lives in Garanhuns, north-east of Brazil, with his wife Danielle and their three children. He is an entrepreneur in the agricultural sector, but he is not quite common. Passionate about agricultural work and full of enthusiasm, after agronomic studies has started working in the sector. In time he managed to create a small company with various employees. One day, however, the company lost its main customer, and Roberto suddenly faced heavy debts.
In that situation he could no longer pay people to work, and he offered to his employees to become partners to carry on the job and divide the profits. Only 2 out of 10 people agreed, but it was enough to start over. “With these two people, Roberto tells us, little by little a model of partnership and collaboration has developed.” Together with his partners, he developed an innovative way of working and management, which has led to the production of different varieties of lettuce, broccoli, beets and other uncommon vegetables in the local marketplace, high in quality and non-chemical.
“One day I presented my proposal to the Profor and, among other 24 projects, mine was ranked among the eligible ones. Through the Program, we have received technical training opportunities, training in the Economy of Communion culture, personalized support service and financial resources that have allowed us to have a truck, thus solving the big problem of the shipping cost for the delivery of the products.”
Thanks to this new motivation, the company has increased revenue and today it has 24 employees.

Another participant of the Profor Program, José Carlos da Silva, also jumped in this entrepreneurship adventure. Josè lives in the town of Igarassu with his wife Helena and their two children. In the past he had done several jobs in companies and institutions, but in 2010 he found himself out of work and decided to move to the big city of Sao Paulo, 3000 kilometres away, to get more opportunities. The opportunity, however, came from elsewhere. Concerned that José would stay away from the family, a friend of his (José Antonio, known as Zezinho) suggested not to leave and learn his craft: the construction of prefabricated houses. José recounts that his new adventure was born out of this gesture of Zezinho’s communion who, besides teaching his profession, invested a part of his estate to start a new business with him: “He invited me to be his partner and to him putting in communion his patrimony was a natural thing. For me it was a great gesture of trust, so I tried to match up to it.”
Soon after, a sudden illness prevented Zezinho from continuing the project, and José Carlos had to take over the new small business initiative.
Having learned about the Profor Program, he sent his proposal, which was approved. Thanks to this, the company continued to consolidate. In the business plan it is expected that the company will return the initial capital received, and send it to a “Reciprocity Fund” that will support other initiatives.

I believe that the Economics of Communion has made us learn important things: it has given us concrete opportunities to make business, but at the same time great freedom. That is why I feel obliged to “return it”. I have discovered a broader horizon and I would like to give my input so that others can find this same opportunity. ”

Lia Guillen
(AMU News n. 1/2017)

The Strengthening Program of Businesses of Inclusion and Communion (Profor) is promoted by the National Association for a Economy of Communion of Brazil (Anpecom) in collaboration with AMU and EoC International. To find out more, go to the project sheet >>>


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