By: Anne Jones
Mix good will with knowledge, enthusiasm and dedication and you will have the formula that constitutes the profile of a Brazilian social entrepreneur. No matter the region, age or social class, these entrepreneurs struggle daily to get their projects going and improve the lives of thousands of people.
In 1995 Rodrigo Baggio founded the Center for Digital Inclusion (CDI) to overcome what he calls “digital apartheid”, since 79 per cent of the population of our planet is excluded from accessing technical development. The Center for Digital inclusion (CDI) is a social organization that uses technology for social change to fight poverty, empowering communities, and encouraging entrepreneurship, education, and citizenship.
The CDI network operates through 842 digital empowerment spaces in 15 countries – Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Spain, the United States, England, Mexico, Portugal, Venezuela, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Poland, Romania, and Latvia. This global network is coordinated and monitored by 24 regional and international offices, extending to the remotest parts of Latin America, benefiting people of different ages, cultures, races, and ethnicities. To date CDI has impacted more than 1,640,000 lives.
Sergio Andrade – Public Agenda
Sergio Andrade founded Public Agenda (Agenda Publica) to improve public management. The non-profit organization encourages social participation by developing partnerships between local governments, society and private companies to address issues such as housing and basic sanitation. Currently, the Public Agenda operates in six Brazilian states.
Dr. Vera Cordeiro – Children Health Association
The organization founded in 1991 by Dr. Vera Cordeiro, works to assists children who have been hospitalized and are living below the poverty line by fostering the economic and social self-sufficiency of their families. For three decades Children Health Association (Associação Saúde Criança) have been using a pioneer methodology to restructure families with children in situations of social vulnerability assisting them with a variety of needs such as: in health care, housing, citizenship, education and professionalization.
Joaquim Melo – Palmas Bank
The Palmas Bank Institute (Instituto Banco Palmas) Institute was founded in 1998 by Joaquim Melo in patnership with the residents’s association of the low income neighborhood Conjunto Palmeira in Fortaleza city. The community bank helps local entrepreneurs with minimum interest credit line to be invested in income generating business to benefits the whole comunity. The non-profit bank uses solidarity economy systems to overcome urban and rural poverty through entreprernorship.
Lucas Alves Gomes – Dance in Favela
Lucas Alves Gomes & Ronaldo Marinho created in 2013, Dance in Favela (Favela em Dança) a dance festival and competition focus in showcase the dance groups from Rio de Janeiro’s favelas. The festivals takes place in Cantagalo, the community where Lucas was born. There are two annual events, attracting more than a thousand people from all over Rio de Janeiro. The local economy benefits immensely from the events: hostels, restaurants, stores and local producers get really busy during the festival.
Anne Jones is a freelance writer with broad experience in reporting about fashion, lifestyle and entertainment