Only by deepening our roots we can understand, learn and leave a remarkable brand. Since its beginnings, Aventura de Construir has decided to strategically dedicate its efforts to working with micro entrepreneurs living in the areas built by Associação dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra de São Paulo (ATST), where we can find a rate of entrepreneurship of around the double of the national average rate. A survey conducted in 2012 showed that the micro entrepreneurs in these areas were representative of the “new middle class”: a fundamental segment for Brazil’s economic and social development.According to the same survey, the average monthly income per worker little exceeded R$ 2000,00, i.e. slightly above three minimum Brazilian wages (year 2012). Most micro entrepreneurs found themselves in a salary range between 2 e 5 minimum wages: according to the IBGE, this represented 42,7% of the population over 15 years in the south of the country and 34,4% nationally. They are the so-called “average middle class”, a social layer which have grown the most in the present decade, presenting therefore evidences of fragility and vulnerability due to the sudden growth of the standard of living. The consequences of a possible withdrawal, linked to recent economic improvements, can be harsh both to the personal and social level.This uncertainty was perceivable also by other indicators: practically the entire search target audience was living in houses, in which 77% were their own, thanks to the work of ATST that helped with the purchase of lots for housing. 75% of the households had running water, electricity and telephone, 97% of the micro entrepreneurs had a mobile phone and 81%, a bank account – although there is no bank agency or ATM in these areas so far.On the other hand, 50% of the micro entrepreneurships wasn’t formalized and 43% were generating a profit below 30% of the revenues; as entrepreneurs, 62% had no health insurance, 55% had not finished high school and one quarter wasn´t aware of their profit or monthly income. Furthermore, almost 20% of their monthly income was below minimum wage.Entrepreneurship in Brazil is really a mass phenomenon: created in 2009, the Individual Micro Entrepreneur legal figure reached the number of 5 million in just six years and it is expected to reach more than 8 million in 2022, according to a SEBRAE survey from November, 2015. Only in the state of São Paulo, there are about 150 thousand company openings per year, and 99% are micro, representing 48% of the jobs and 36% of payroll.
Besides being numerically important, micro companies are fundamental to a healthy and dynamic social and economic context, where people are protagonists: 37% of entrepreneurs reported that the fundamental reason for having opened a microenterprise is the desire to have their own business, against only 11% who started a business to increase income. In Sao Paulo, nearly half of micro entrepreneurs are women, while one third of all people with disabilities work or create their own individual company. Lastly, 53% of individual businesses are run in private houses, contributing to the vitality of the suburbs and relieving the traffic in big cities.
At the same time, micro entrepreneurs face a lot of difficulties: 20% of companies don’t reach their second birthday. What they are lacking is often basic education (16% of entrepreneurs have not completed primary education and 38%, high school), planning (38% began without knowing theirs competitors’ size) and realism and attitude (57% thought would have more free time for family and friends once opening their own business). Access to the banking system is also limited: only 16% of micro entrepreneurs got loans, the big majority in public banks and only 2% through micro credit or cooperative credits.
In this reality, Aventura de Construir’s approach has already shown significant improvements as regard to the performance of microenterprises. Deepening among entrepreneurs the awareness of their responsibilities, helping them to see all the aspects of their own personal dimension, expanding technical and administrative knowledges, awakening microentrepreneurs’ creativity to create something different: all of that creates significant impact. It becomes concrete in increased revenues and employees, for example. Given the representation of our target public, we believe that out methodology can achieve results in different regions and national contexts, positively contributing in the great effort and current engagement of Brazil’s population.If you also think the same way and know sectors in need of our intervention, let us join our efforts to respond together to those needs!