2020 Class of the PPA Acceleration Program begins its journey

Gathered for five days (February 17 to 21), members of the 15 businesses selected by the Partners for the Amazon Platform Acceleration Program participated in a business modeling and indicator building workshop with the aim of supporting them in the construction and improvement of business models and result and impact indicators. 

The programming was aimed at diagnosing the state of the business, creating an individual development plan and deepening a personal look at the entrepreneurs, promoting as much as possible the environment for exchanges and the construction of networks. Business flow and model, revenue generation, evaluation and monitoring, and organizational culture were also addressed. 

The meeting was facilitated by Sense-Lab and Social Move, Program partners and creators of the Model C, and also by the Maniê, a consultancy that supports the development of people and organizations that seek to generate a positive impact.  

Model C helps Business of impact to draw, in a single narrative, its two dimensions - impact and sustainability -, integrating efficient tools that have been used to model these businesses: Business Model Canvas, which focuses on business design, and Theory of Change, which looks at the results chain.

The result of this first workshop was the realization of a modeling based on the C model of each business, a matrix of indicators elaborated from this modeling and an action plan that will guide the entire journey of the Program.

One of the peculiarities of the PPA Acceleration Program is the customization based on the needs of the accelerated businesses themselves. Thus, in addition to the individual action plans built over these five days, the group suggested topics to be addressed in the next face-to-face meetings, which should take place in April and June. The Program lasts for six months, and also includes individual mentoring, legal, accounting and brand assistance, scholarships for participation in events and courses. 

“We are extremely excited about this new class. These are businesses and entrepreneurs that have the potential to transform the region's economy, each in their own area, in their specialty. And the construction of business models and the Theories of Change of each one of them allowed us to assess in depth the impact that each one wants to generate and also to build the indicators that will assess the growth of these businesses. It's an extremely promising group”, assesses Mariano Cenamo, director of new business at the Idesam, implementing institution of the PPA Acceleration Program. 

The Program coordinator, Ana Carolina Bastida, evaluates the first meeting of entrepreneurs very positively, highlighting the fact that they have defined, through strategic planning based on Model C, which challenges to advance in the coming months. At the same time, the Program coordination also began to understand the weaknesses and challenges of each business and how to contribute to their advancement. "Another point to highlight is that, with the Theory of Change and the matrix of indicators built over these days, we already know the main items to be measured in the next stages of the program, in terms of change, impact and results" , complete.

Immersion provided a connection between entrepreneurs

The first workshop of 2020 lasted five days, in three of which the entrepreneurs were immersed in a jungle hotel without an internet connection. During this period, the group worked intensively on Model C, while at the same time establishing deeper ties, finding similarities in the challenges of their businesses and possibilities for cooperation.

“It's a diverse but complementary group. This provides a very rich exchange and strengthens the network. They leave this workshop united in their sense of purpose, from the Amazon, from this greater cause. And we noticed a very big alignment of intentions in the PPA Acceleration Program, in the care with the selection, with the group of facilitators, our feeling is of a workflow. We left excited about the great potential impact of these initiatives”, assess Vitor Motomura and Julia Florez, from Maniê.

Yurik Ostroski, from Sense-Lab, highlights that the well-done selection process to reach the 15 accelerated deals made all the difference in the composition of the group, and that during the application of Model C, by looking more closely at the structure of each one from them, there is already a very strong consistency in the day-to-day of the initiatives. “They need a polishing here and there in the business model, maybe in the indicators, but in essence they already have a very strong cause for transformation. We tried to create an energy, during the facilitation, so that the contents didn't get too boring, and we put in every day many moments of connection between them. When working with systemic problems, we need to encourage this union, exchanges between those who have already tested things and can help. I saw this happening at various times. Although they are often working with different chains, they have a lot of common learning in the ways they do it. For us, being in this network of partners that Idesam, the Acceleration Program and PPA provide is wonderful. We learned a lot. ” 

Antônio Ribeiro, from Move Social, recalls that the field of impact business is new, and that it has been built collectively: “The proposal of the PPA Acceleration Program is very attentive to this collective construction of a field of investment and business of impact. We see this in our daily work with entrepreneurs. It's nice to see partners, entrepreneurs and everyone connected to the PPA trying to think together about what this field is, as actors in the social and environmental field, resisting the various pressures that are taking place. That's the strength of a program like this. Bringing the different voices of the different actors in the ecosystem together. It's a collective and resistance perspective.”

The group that participates in the PPA Acceleration Program in 2020 is composed of businesses that bring solutions in sustainable agriculture and livestock, forest management and production, environmental products and services, education for environmental conservation, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, among others. Three extractive cooperatives are part of the group, which also provided very constructive exchanges between them from day one. 

“We had to have such training before we became entrepreneurs, because we made a lot of mistakes. The desire to be an entrepreneur and the need are greater than the knowledge we have for this. Right on the first day of the workshop, we really 'hit' the wound, looking at where our problems are, where we need to improve, for our organization itself. And being together with other cooperatives is helping us to think about common problems”, assesses Hélia Félix, from Cacauway, an enterprise of the Cooperative Agroindustrial Transamazônica, located in Medicilândia, Pará, which manufactures chocolate from cocoa extracted by the group.

Of the 15 participating businesses, six are located in the state of Amazonas, four in Pará, two in Mato Grosso, two in Rio de Janeiro and one in Santa Catarina. For the first time, during the business selection process, the Acceleration Program opened the possibility of enrollment for companies headquartered in other regions of the country, as long as they were willing to open an address in the North region within six months after the beginning of the Program.

“We know our project so well, we know how to talk about it, but when we have to put it on paper, we have a bit of difficulty. With this workshop, we succeeded, and we saw how beautiful our project is, it really makes an impact. This gives us a broader view of our business, and it's opening my mind to many things,” says Adriano Lima, from Prátika Engenharia, a business that takes solar energy to indigenous communities and isolated quilombolas in Calha Norte in the state of Pará.

Maria Eugênia Tezza, from Academia Amazônia Ensina – an enterprise that promotes immersion trips in the Amazon to debate sustainability, technology, conservation, economic development and other 21st century themes with young people, students and entrepreneurs – evaluates that participation in the Acceleration Program for PPA will help define indicators that will provide a better understanding of the impact the business generates on people's lives, both those who live in the communities visited during the expeditions and those who participate in the process, coming from other regions of the country. “I'm discovering important things about myself during this process as well, as an entrepreneur, as a woman, as a young person who is inserted in this universe of impact entrepreneurship. Being in this group of businesses, which all look to the Amazon, makes all the difference. ” 

About the Acceleration Program and PPA

The PPA Acceleration Program stands out for being 100% dedicated to the entrepreneur who works in the Amazon rainforest, to their demands and regional realities. In addition to the business incubation and acceleration process, the program offers opportunities for investment, cooperation, networking and the creation of an interconnected sustainable business community.

It is led by a group of PPA companies, coordinated by Idesam and has strategic and financial support from USAID, CIAT, Instituto Humanize and Fundo Vale.

The PPA (Platform Partners for the Amazon) is a platform for collective action, led by the private sector, which seeks to build innovative, tangible and practical solutions for sustainable development, conservation of biodiversity, forests and natural resources in the Amazon. It operates through four thematic groups (GTs): (1) Entrepreneurship, impact investing and sustainable business acceleration; (2) Strategic investment opportunities, based on tax incentives and bioeconomy; (3) Strengthening Amazon value chains and local purchases; (4) Strengthening of relationships between communities and companies based on integrated territorial management and Social and Environmental Uses of Private Reserves. The Acceleration Program integrates GT1.

>> Learn about accelerated business in 2020

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