Note from BBT: This is pretty big news. The annual event known as Feira Preta has been the biggest black cultural event in all of Latin America for about two decades. In the US, numerous cities across the country have these types of events in which black vendors and entrepreneurs come together and present their products in one place.
For anyone into black culture, an event such as Feira Preta is an inspiring celebration. Musical performances, clothing, beauty products, hair accessories, art, food, books, you name it. Of course, it’s not possible to have every black entrepreneur in the country at one weekend event in only one city, but it does give you a good representation of what Afro-Brazilian entrepreneurs have to offer.
Feira Preta is arguably the event that designed the blueprint for Afro-Brazilian entrepreneurs in the country and has led to numerous similar events in other cities throughout the country that have sizable black populations.
Now, with so much business and sales being done online and the vast majority of Afro-Brazilian entrepreneurs not having physical locations in which to sell their products, moving into the realm of e-commerce is a natural and necessary progression.
The creator of Feira Preta, Adriana Barbosa, has already expanded her brand to include ventures such as PretaHub, which offers free access to spaces such for audiovisual production studios, a library and meeting rooms to support black entrepreneurs in digitizing their brands.
In 2017, Barbosa was chosen as one of the 51 most influential black people in the world by MIPAD (Most Influential People of African Descent), and as she continues to grow, her influence continues to open more doors for Afro-Brazilians with entrepreneurial aspirations.
In 2018, Mercado Livre started supporting Feira Preta’s ventures. Mercado Livre is an Argentine company somewhat similar to Amazon.com, an online sales platform that sells just about everything under the sun. This format and partnership has become essential in the new covid-19 world we live in. Feira Preta 2020 took place only online, totally online and free, with the central theme #Existe um futuro preto! meaning ‘there is a black future!’
In 2020, as in 2018, all entrepreneurs had the opportunity to advertise and sell their products online through the Mercado Livre platform, in a specific section totally dedicated to the expo’s products. That first edition, held in 2018, brought together about 35 entrepreneurs and 300 products. Now, in 2020, more than 80 sellers were registered, with 1200 products.
“One of the main roles of the Feira Preta within the black community, besides influencing the collective construction of projections for the future, is to transmit hope. There is no way we cannot hold the event and transmit hope in a year with such a dystopian scenario, especially when it directly impacts a portion of the population that experiences these dystopias on a daily basis,” Barbosa explained.
The new partnership also shows a new willingness of Brazilian companies to pursue diversity and opportunities for black entrepreneurs in recent years.
“The action reinforces Mercado Livre’s commitment to drive entrepreneurs, generate social impact through technology, and promote diversity inside and outside the company,” explained Laura Motta, Sustainability Manager at Mercado Livre in Brazil.
To leverage black entrepreneurship, Feira Preta announces marketplace
E-commerce counts on the participation of more than 150 entrepreneurs from all over the country, which enabled a variety of a thousand products
Aline Macedo with additional info from Luiz Gustavo Pacete
In partnership with Santander Brasil, Feira Preta, the largest festival of black culture and entrepreneurship in Latin America, launched its marketplace on Thursday (13).
“Launching the marketplace today, May 13, the date that marks 133 years of abolition in Brazil, is to bring a new meaning, is to show that the contribution of African people to this country is not only the perspectives of slavery, it is of power and creativity” says Adriana Barbosa, CEO of PretaHub and founder of Feira Preta.
The action aims to leverage black, indigenous, LGBTQIA + and quilombola entrepreneurs among other entrepreneurs of activist causes who had business accelerated by PretaHub.
E-commerce includes the participation of more than 150 entrepreneurs from all over the country, which enabled a variety of a thousand products, among them, items of fashion, cosmetics, decoration, Afro-religious and stationery.
Plans for 2021
The Feira, which has already generated around BRL 1 million in product sales per edition, plans to include more indigenous and quilombola people in its markeplace, with the aim of reaching 500 entrepreneurs by the end of the year. The platform will offer a wide variety of products, including decoration items, fashion, cosmetics, Afro-religious and stationery and is focused on creating supply and demand that generates value for several families.
“Buying and selling at the Feira Preta Marketplace is more than selling a product, it is believing in a black woman’s dream of developing the power of black creativity. It is a tool that generates value and builds a world of opportunities for a black future,” explains Barbosa
Partnership with Santander
Santander bank, in addition to financing the project, contributed with innovation programs, digital literacy actions and online sales program, since the connection that entrepreneurs had with consumers was only physical.
Santander’s support for Feira Preta was born in 2020 and had Adriana’s first participation in a brand’s insurance campaign as its first action. From the beginning, I had already aimed at building the marketplace, also conceived by the Suno agency. The bank’s work with Feira Preta focuses on training and facilitating access to banking services and management platforms for entrepreneurs of the PretaHub chain who also participated in meetings and workshops focused on digitizing their business and boosting sales with companies like Google and Facebook.
Guidance on financial education and access to credit was also part of the action.