Note from BW of Brazil: Yet another example of a rising creativity in the world of Afro-oriented entrepreneurs! It’s quite amazing and inspiring to see the innovations and strides being made in the world of Afro-Brazilian business. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that it was difficult for black women to even find pantyhose that matched with their skin tones! This is not to say that there isn’t still a ways to go to fill in a need for various products in a Brazil that still refuses to recognize the fact that a large segment of its population doesn’t look as if their ancestors come directly from Europe (see here and here). This lack of diversity of products is not only shameful, it’s also not good business as the so-called ethnic market not only continues to grow, but it has also shown itself to be more resistant to Brazil’s ongoing economic crisis! But it’s great to see Afro-Brazilians seeing this need and filling these voids themselves!
Black students from FGV launch application for afro-entrepreneurs
Taxi, food delivery, manicure and even motoboy (delivery by motorcycle). Mobile applications have become part of the lives of many Brazilians as a way to order products and services with quality and speed.
By Silvia Nascimento
Kizzy Terra, 23, an engineer of computing and graduate student at FGV, Hallison Paz, 24, also a computer engineer and graduate student at the Instituto de Matemática Pura e Aplicada and Vitor Del Rey, 31, a student majoring in Social Sciences and History, Administration and Law at the Fundação Getúlio Vargas (Getúlio Vargas Foundation), pooled their contacts, knowledge and experience and created Kilombu (1), a mobile app, aimed at commercializing products and services of the black community. The platform’s launch was set for the 20th of February.
“I participated in a law school clinic at FGV that had as a fundamental role to formalize and provide consultancy for micro and small entrepreneurs, people already working, but in the field of informality and I realized that black entrepreneurs in the community and uneducated, sought surviving working with what they do best,” explains co-founder of the project Victor Del Rey.
The work of two years at the clinic made Del Rey realize the low level of knowledge of black entrepreneurs on basic questions concerning business administration and fundamentals for growth and expansion. “Many have not had time to study because of working a lot, which also happened to their children and I felt it was necessary to do something special for these people.”
Much more than a classified
“Kilombu is a concept that does not fit within an application,” emphasizes Del Rey. To solve the administrative problems of these black entrepreneurs that also included the lack of customers, the FGV student is in talks with the directors of the institution seeking partners to capacitate this public.
The project is not only to facilitate contact between customers and entrepreneurs and training is a key aspect of the project.
“Entrepreneurs who will go through Kilombu will attend a FGV classroom that will be responsible for giving courses on how to improve your sales. Today most use Facebook. We will use the students from the foundation that need additional time to capacitate these people and everything will be free to participants,” explains Vitor. All students involved in the training process of afro-entrepreneurs will undergo training to understand the social historical specificities of this group.
Development and investment
The application is fully financed by Vitor, Halisson and Kizzy. The last two have experience in developing applications for Android and iOS, but the version for Apple devices will be available later. The download and subscription of products and services are free.
“We intend to pay expenses through for some services within the application, such as sponsor links. We are studying the possibility of offering a payment system within the application, enabling registered entrepreneurs to receive payments directly into their bank accounts and a small commission on the sale would be ours,” concludes Halisson Paz, co-founder of the project.
Source: Mundo Negro
- In case you missed the reference to the important historic term quilombo, see here.