EXAME - Negócios, Economia, Tecnologia e Carreira

The WTC, an imposing business condominium on Avenida das Nações Unidas, in the financial epicenter of the city of São Paulo, hosts the largest entrepreneurship fair that connects the asphalt and the ravine: the Expo Favela Innovation. The second edition of the event, held by Favela Holding, takes place on March 17, 18 and 19, and features exhibitions, startup pitches, debates, lectures and conferences, all created by residents of favelas across the country with the support of big names in entrepreneurship. The objective: to show society the economic power of the periphery.

“The favela is power” was the motto raised throughout the first day of the event. In the first panels, the present theme was how Brazilian favelas function as real countries, complex economic ecosystems, and the importance of seeing favelas as economic epicenters, capable of moving billions of reais. According to a survey by Data Favela, there are 8.8 million homes in favelas, home to 17.9 million Brazilians. Only the adult population of these locations, of 12.7 million people, exceeds that of Sweden. The survey estimates that favelas are capable of generating R$202 billion in their own income per year.

life in the community

Living in a favela is a unique experience, and the rapper MV Bill exposes a little of this reality: “Capacity to face the front and change what was predestined for us. said Bill. The fight in the favelas begins with geography and permeates social and economic strata. And Expo Favelas exists with the intention and ambition of showing the favela to the world, outside the bubbles of stereotypes such as poverty, violence, robbery and drug trafficking. For this, it is essential to have the involvement of the government, private initiative and civil society.

We reached the second year of this event, which is more than an event. We are talking about the beginning of a massification movement of our power. When they talk about favelas, many talk about poor people. I don’t know needy people in favelas, I know powerful people. And this is what we want to show”, said the CEO of Favela Holding, Celso Athayde, at the opening of the conference. “I usually say that I only believe in evolution when there is respect. When you see rich people here, don’t be surprised. We want to bring together investment funds and entrepreneurs from the favelas”, commented Athayde, born in Baixada Fluminense and raised in Favela do Sapo.

Ricardo Nunes, mayor of São Paulo, also participated in the opening of the event and stressed the importance of having works that fight for the harmony, dialogue with everyone and include people. “A set of actions we need to take to reduce inequality is the generation of jobs and income”, she comments.

The favela and the asphalt

“Before understanding the favela, you need to understand its counterpoint: the asphalt. The favela is the result of an unequal society and exclusion. Favelas need to be seen as a territory of resistance and a territory of opportunity. favelas without having the humility to learn about favelas,” said Renato Meirelles.

At a table that had Luciano Huck as mediator, influencer Bianca Andrade, economist Arminio Fraga and Preto Zezé, president of the Central Única das Favelas (Cufa), discussed social mobility and the role of entrepreneurship. According to data from Data Favela, 50% of favela residents are entrepreneurs, corresponding to 5.2 million entrepreneurs. And many undertake out of necessity for survival. With that in mind, the panel’s guests spoke about the power of the creative economy and the importance of creating dialogues to keep learning.

“We should encourage female entrepreneurship because reality hasn’t changed since I left the favelas. And what was missing? It was precisely the incentive, to understand that for that woman there is an opportunity and to show that there is a chance to, at least, dream of what can be done, which is not just Bianca’s story for the world but for several women from the favelas”, said Andrade, also known as pink mouthwho grew up in Complexo da Maré, in Rio de Janeiro, and was raised by a single mother.

Arminio Fraga, on the other hand, was optimistic about the future. “Everything in Brazil has room to improve, that gives me hope,” he said. “Don’t believe that for Brazil to grow we have to invest in a single portion but in the mass of people who start from scratch, in the debtor balance”.

Preto Zezé highlighted the importance of the third sector for the small entrepreneur: “undertaking is a new concept for us, but the favela has already turned around, it runs its course. There is a dynamic that is almost ashamed of those who are talking about money on a daily basis. It is necessary to take ownership of this, when you produce something from the black people, from the favela, in Brazil you end up playing a supporting role and it is important to unite all the points to create dialogue. The favela is shy, many times the ruler that measures us is the one of disgrace”, he commented. “Who keeps the favela standing are faces that sometimes you don’t see, as long as the country is good only for a minority, this here will not be a nation.”

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Deborah Acker

I write epic fantasy; self-published via KDP. Devoted dog mom to my 10 yr old GSD, Shadow! DM not a priority; slow response at best #amwriting #author.

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