From February 18 to 20, 15 projects from the Amazon region will meet in Manaus to begin the activities of the PPA Acceleration Program. The Inaugural Workshop and Innovation Workshop on Business Models and Construction of Impact Indicators is the first of several meetings related to the Program, whose objective is to provide the necessary support for the development of these startups, selected through an Impact Call for Businesses held by PPA in 2018.
This first activity will connect the participating businesses, presenting structure, services and benefits offered by the Program. In addition, the group participates in a two-day workshop to support the construction and improvement of business models and result and impact indicators. The Workshop will be facilitated by Sense-Lab and Move Social, partners of the Program and creators of Model C for impact businesses.
The PPA Acceleration Program is coordinated by Idesam and supported by USAID and CIAT and has the partnership of several other institutions, with the purpose of helping businesses to reach new stages of development and maximize their capacities to generate positive socioenvironmental impact in the Amazon. For this, Idesam will provide support and monitoring services, mentoring, thematic workshops, legal and accounting support, scholarships, management tools, among other benefits. Through periodic meetings, the mentoring program should connect impact entrepreneurs who are starting to design their businesses, with successful executives from PPA member companies.
“We believe that the interaction and exchange of experiences between companies of different profiles can generate learning, recommendations and contacts that will be fundamental for the development of startups”, highlights economist Ana Carolina Bastida, member of the coordination team of the Acceleration Program.
One of the companies benefited from the Acceleration Program is ‘Da Tribu’, which develops sustainable fashion accessories with latex produced with forest technology, generating income for riverine families in Pará. Since 2009, the company has sought to reduce negative impacts of the textile industry through a sustainable line of accessories that values Amazonian biodiversity, rescues local culture and generates income for riverine families. Also participating in the program are companies 100% Amazon, Awí Amazon Fruits, Broto Tecnologia Agrícola, Coopmel, Chocolates De Mendes, Da Tribu, Ecopainéis, Tipiti, ManaosTech, Onisafra, Sustainable Ecosolutions, Ração+, Peabiru and Manioca.
“We are very excited about the start of our Business Acceleration Program. The proposal is to support the maximum development of startups over the next 12 months. The entire structure and content were built in a customized way and tailored according to the demands raised by each participant” highlights Mariano Cenamo, Executive Coordinator of PPA and one of the creators of the Program.
One of the entrepreneurs eager for the three-day training is Jair Arruda, from Boa Vista do Ramos (AM) and founder of Coopmel, a cooperative that produces honey from stingless bees and which still faces challenges such as product certification and structuring logistics to be able to export to new markets. Currently with more than 60 cooperative families, Arruda intends to increase the production of honey, spread knowledge about the colonization of stingless bees, which consequently promotes the conservation of the Amazon rainforest and increases the families’ income without having to deforest more areas.
“We have to look for certifications to sell outside the state, but my big problem is logistics, because there is a market for the product and our price is affordable”, says Arruda, who will participate in the Program in search of help in managing the company and in strategic planning.
During the acceleration program, entrepreneurs will also be able to apply for scholarships or logistical support to participate in conferences, fairs, courses or training events that have the potential to contribute to the development of their company. The viability of coworking spaces and support in the creation of visual communication materials are other benefits of the program.