Our work was initially thought to respond to the need of social, economic and human development, betting on the generation of income through the protagonism and focused on microentrepreneurs in Sao Paulo´s peripheries.
Throughout our activities, we understand that our services could also be expanded, adapted and replicated to other segments and publics, as it becomes increasingly evident the need to generate leadership in different contexts. And, precisely because we work with an obligatorily expansive theme, we officialize two new groups of publics (besides microentrepreneurs). See below some aspects related to the characterization of each one of them.
Teenagers and Youth
We understand that the social inequality and the difficulty of access of the less favored classes are historical and marked factors in the development of the country, and entail numerous social problems, such as violence, prostitution and lack of qualification for the development of the peripheries. According to the UN, the main causes of social inequality are lack of access to quality education; unfair tax policy; low wages and poor access to basic services such as health and sanitation.
Young people between the ages of 17 and 24 have the highest unemployment rate in the country, 44% among the entire unemployed population, and the lower the schooling, the higher the unemployment rate. According to research by the Abrinq Foundation, in 2017, 15% of students dropped out of high school.
Economic recession, increased poverty, difficulty in accessing information, coupled with the lack of stimulation of these adolescents and young people living in precarious conditions, may have as a practical result in their lives the reproduction of the life of their parents with the same socioeconomic pattern. In addition to unemployment, the lack of perspectives on life and the future discourages adolescents and young people, who often opt for easier paths, often falling into informality, a cycle that is repeated for generations.
That is why our projects aim to interrupt this vicious cycle, proposing a training to work and income generation, acting in a logic of integral human formation and self-knowledge, to allow the valuation of new models and habits of life.
Low Income Families
Social inequalities in Brazil increased considerably in 2017 as a result of the crisis, pointing to unemployment as one of the most responsible. The crisis in the country in recent years has had a direct effect on the economy, which after years of historical growth began to decline considerably from 2014. The peripheries were the hardest hit by lack of labor qualification and little access to opportunities.
According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), between the years 2016 and 2017 the average household income per capita of 5% of the poorest population in Sao Paulo fell from R $ 115.00 to R $ 94.00, which represented a decrease of 18%. Extreme poverty grew by 11.2% in the national average in 2017, which meant 14.83 million people, an increase of 1.5 million people compared to 2016. Those considered “miserable” reached 1,392 million according to information from the Valor Econômico newspaper.
In Sao Paulo´s metropolitan region, there are 700,193 people living in extreme poverty, 35% higher than in 2016.These people are often unable to enter the informal market either because of lack of access or because of poor living conditions. With such a recession, unemployment has haunted the lives of thousands of people
Based on this scenario and with experience in disseminating content about managing your own money, economy, planning, and long-term vision, we deliver the most affected by the economic recession and unemployment in recent years a necessary subsidy to guide personal and family.
The benefits to the general public of low income are extensive and we have been able to impact in the improvement of the family health, in the school stability of the children, in the reduction of the domestic violence and in the better performance of its activities.
Entrepreneurship in Brazil is, in fact, a mass phenomenon: created as a legal figure in 2009, the category of Individual Microentrepreneur reached the number of 6.49 million enrolled (MEIs).
Sao Paulo´s state has 1.68 million of these businesses (26% of the country’s total), and looking at some numbers only of the state capital, we can see the importance of this category in the state economy.
Source: Study of the profile of the individual microentrepreneur. Sebrae, 2017According to the World Bank’s Doing Business Report, Brazil ranks 110th out of 190 countries assessed for ease of doing business.
In addition, it is the seventh worst country to pay taxes (184th position) and is among the 15 worst to start a business (140th position). Source: World Bank
Our initial mission was to accompany low-income microentrepreneurs in the Sao Paulo´s outskirts, not only because of their relevance in the economy, but also because of two other central reasons that meet our values:
- Micro-entrepreneurship is one of the most sustainable responses to income generation. A viable, structured and healthy business generates tangible benefits to its surroundings, activating the local economy by offering products and services, generating employment and partnerships with suppliers.
- Protagonism: to fulfill our mission, we start with those who have already taken initiative: the microentrepreneurs.
To ensure that our projects respond to the real demand of this public, we carry out research from the beginning of the Association’s activities to identify the needs, habits and behaviors of microentrepreneurs and reach a characterization of this public and their families.
From these studies we have developed very rich materials and tools and a methodology of work that could value all the development potential identified, convinced that, in order to foster growth, we must, above all, value what already exists. Documents that, timely and periodically updated, guide to today the way we work.
We also note that the doubts and difficulties of microentrepreneurs vary by formal education and professional training received, sector, product / service, region and trend of each niche, and this generates for the Adventure of Building a creative process and a dynamic of activities to meet these specific needs. During the last years, we have been able to follow a growing number of young people betting on entrepreneurship, a phenomenon that has guided and shaped a new form of interaction with this part of our pubic.
In response to these increasingly dynamic and differentiated scenarios, we have created and applied some tools to study and understand the evolution of the target audience:
- Social CRM (a Social Customer Relationship Management applied before any intervention): from a significant number of success stories accompanied and systematized in the Association’s years of service, we identify the critical factors that potentially lead to the success of a microentrepreneur. Based on this analysis, we defined a questionnaire that we started to apply with the objective of knowing the potential of each one attended: strengths, critical points and improvements to effectively guide our action with them, as well as creating a baseline for assessments of impact.
- Self-knowledge and self-esteem questionnaires: the human vulnerability of the public served was more evident in recent years. This led us to consider it necessary to know the fragilities and the points of improvement in order to make possible a work more focused on responding to these family and personal needs as well.