Lílian Silva

Ashoka Fellow
Gloria do Goitá, Pernambuco, Brazil
Fellow Since 2008


This profile was prepared when Lílian Silva was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2008.
The New Idea
Lílian believes that youth in rural areas can be significant forces for change when they are supported as entrepreneurs. She created Acreditar (To Believe), a microcredit organization administered and formed by youth, for youth, that helps members start their own businesses based on a model of local sustainable development. In poor rural regions, Lílian recognized that access to credit is not only key for income generation but also helpful in ending the vicious cycle of youth disenfranchisement. By investing in the future of young people, this approach combats both the rural exodus and the negative impact of agribusiness. The enterprises created allow young Brazilians to stay in the countryside while following the principles of organic family agriculture and generating an income for their family and local communities. Lílian believes that this model, if integrated with other projects, could be a powerful agent of change throughout the region and is thus formalizing it in partnership with other development organizations and financial institutions.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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