Starting the activities of the Partnership Platform for the Amazon Acceleration Program, members of 15 Amazon impact businesses met from 18 to 20/02 at Impact Hub, in Manaus, and began to work on the theories of change and indicators of their ventures.
Developed in partnership with Sense-Lab and Move Social, the Innovation Workshop on Business Models and Construction of Impact Indicators presented the Model C to the entrepreneurs participating in the Program, encouraging each of them to work at the same time in the design of the business and the impact management chain, in an integrated manner.
As a group, the entrepreneurs advanced in the individual modeling of their businesses, while interacting with each other in case of doubts and similarities. These Startups, located in municipalities in the states of Amazonas and Pará, have also started connections and exchanges that can provide new business opportunities.
“Our objectives during these days of the workshop were to build a logical narrative, refine the vision of the business and its integration with the impact and define key indicators for each one of them. A vision of success for each business, but also a joint vision of what all this will generate as a Program”, says Antônio Ribeiro, from Move Social.
From the perspective of Antonio de Lima Mesquita and Nubia Mireya Garzon Barrero, from the startup Ecopainéis da Fibra do Fruto do Açaí, the moment was also for co-creating. The duo describes the construction process throughout the workshop as a major advantage for the business, which at the same time encourages each one to think about their own enterprise while sharing their vision with the other entrepreneurs.
Tainah Fagundes, from the company Da Tribu, points out that the experience has been important for businesses to have a specific focus on the impact: “Impact is the blind spot, we generate and do not measure, do not connect. And this is a tool [Model C] that comes to give us a direction. I was happy because we are [working] with Move and Sense-Lab, who are outstanding professionals focused on impactful businesses, and not on encouraging the elaboration of a business plan for a traditional company. We are having an experience of really looking at differentiated businesses. And for them it is also a learning experience, understanding a little bit of the Amazon, which is very peculiar. It is a two-way street, very beneficial”.
For Andreas Ufer, from Sense-Lab, the call to work with the acceleration of these businesses by adopting Model C since the beginning of the process contributes to the quality of the Program throughout the year, while also helping to validate the tool itself. “The potential for this is very great, in two directions. First, in the sense of building a robust alternative for the Amazon, and second, how this vision can contaminate the rest of the impact business movement. And it also has a different vision for us, because the Amazon has a different context, here we have a lesson on how to deal with all of this”.
Antônio Ribeiro, from Move Social, who met several of the businesses participating in the Program during the Social Investment and Impact Business Forum in the Amazon, in November last year, considers the holding of the workshop in the Program to be a kind of continuity of the relationship established, and highlights the privilege of experiencing and being able to be close to a process of transformation of the Amazon. “This also requires that we study more, learn more about specific realities. And it has been very good to see people here dedicating themselves to this construction, opening up to reflect on the logic that we are proposing”.
Although the group of entrepreneurs participating in the PPA Acceleration Program has different profiles, it is also aware of its strength as a kind of showcase capable of inspiring similar initiatives, catapulting a new economy for the region.
“It is the first time that such a strong group of entrepreneurs and startups have come together to solve socioenvironmental problems in the Amazon using their own businesses. The solution to deforestation is to develop innovative solutions for the region’s economy. The Amazon needs a new economy. And that economy starts now”, says Mariano Cenamo, co-founder of Idesam and executive coordinator of PPA.
The PPA Acceleration Program
The impact business ecosystem in the Amazon is bustling. More and more initiatives to include riverine, indigenous, quilombola communities and family farmers in production processes, new markets and processes are appearing. These deals promise to leverage a new economy in the region, against deforestation and predatory activities and valuing socio-biodiversity.
In 2018, the Partnership Platform for the Amazon (PPA) held its first Call for Businesses, receiving 81 registrations. Of these, 15 were selected to participate in the PPA Incubation and Acceleration Program, which will take place during 2019 and includes workshops, mentoring, legal and accounting advice, scholarships and the possibility of coworking spaces for startups and entrepreneurs selected in its portfolio.
During the acceleration program, the entrepreneur may apply to receive scholarships or logistical support (travel and accommodation costs) to participate in conferences, fairs, courses or training events that have the potential to contribute or significantly leverage the development of their company.