Rodrigo De Mello Brito

Ashoka Fellow
Brazil,
Fellow Since 2007
Aliança Empreendedora

Citation

This profile was prepared when Rodrigo de Mello Brito was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
A society that not only grows but develops by combining growth, income distribution, inclusion, and the enlargement of internal production and consumption is what gives strength to the Entrepreneurs Alliance. Through the Alliance, Rodrigo and other entrepreneurs provide infrastructure and services to existing and promising businesses, as well as low-income community groups developing income generation opportunities.

Entrepreneurs Alliance qualifies, advises, and follows-up on small businesses and community groups with a specific approach that provides support for current business challenges. There is a methodology to “develop cells”, and each cell is composed of young, mature entrepreneurs who exchange experiences and support. While part of a cell, each entrepreneur builds his/her capabilities, and helps to build the capacity of entrepreneurs from different communities. The themes elaborated in this process vary from the development of a business to ethics to personal motivation. Within the cell, an entrepreneur has access to technology, equipment, and computers.

A primary challenge for businesses is to reach financial sustainability, and Rodrigo has developed different forms of fundraising, such as microcredit and partnering with successful entrepreneurs, who are “investing angels” for projects. Since producers and consumers are often far apart, the Alliance supports the distribution of small business goods. Another solution is a Solidarious Store—a place for Alliance entrepreneurs to display and sell their products.

To guarantee the infrastructure needed for his work, Rodrigo connects with entrepreneurial groups in the community and has built a network of volunteers, students, and other social actors, including the government, interested to assist in the process.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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