By Ruth Faulkner, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The FAETEC Faculty (Technical Support Foundation School) in Rio de Janeiro is offering free courses to help students become entrepreneurs, as well as enter the national and international labor market. With courses at various levels, including technical, vocational and higher, many students have graduated and gone on to start their own small businesses, according to government press.
The president of FAETEC, Wagner Victer, believes the institution plays an important role in preparing these students for the business world, and explained that the aim of the course is for students to leave school ready to work.
“All those who have the desire to grow their skills need the opportunity to do so, by devoting themselves to focused training they immediately become closer to achieving their goals,” said the president.
Some of the successful graduates from the courses have even gone on to build international careers. Deborah Miranda Ribeiro completed a course and went on to found and run a tour and transportation company in New York that is specifically targeted at Brazilian tourists. Ribeiro was able to share her IT and business learning and with her husband who had sixteen years in transportation to form the perfect partnership.
“The FAETEC course helped me to develop this dream project, which is now a reality. I learnt how to use Information Technology tools, which could meet the needs and dynamics required for business management. This is an area that I am now intending to learn more and more,” said Ribeiro.
Another student who used on learning she received at FAETEC, through cutting and sewing course Beach Fashion and Modeling, was Edna Goulart. Goulart, 57, created women’s fashion store Nega Atrevida in the City of God community, Jacarepagua, where she lives and now employs others from the area.
“I am in love with my work and I like to participate in all stages of production, from creation to finishing of the parts. FAETEC taught me professionalism and allowed me to perfect this craft which is a family tradition that I first learnt from my mother. I am happy to now to support employees from my community and see how people identify with the brand,” said the seamstress.
Favelas like City of God have seen gradual growth in outside investment into small businesses since the pacification process began in 2008. Since 2012 a program called “Comércio Legal” (Legal Trade) has aimed to boost investment and credit from outside sources.
Groups like SEBRAE/RJ have entered some favelas to hold workshops about financial planning and investment opportunities. With residents able to access free courses at Faetec, the hope is entrepreneurship will continue to flourish in the communities.
Small businesses can also apply for micro loans, some of which are subsidized by Programa Crescer to keep interest low. The number of micro-credits and new loan approvals changes regularly but there is a strong belief that access to credit empowers entrepreneurship.
Foreign entrepreneurs on permanent visa or a visa obtained through marriage can also get involved in the courses, and will find that there are several company classification options depending upon gross annual revenue. More detailed information about how to set up a small Brazilian business (ME, PPE or MEI) can be found on the SEBRAE website.