Webinar keeps businesses connected in times of Coronavirus

In a time of social isolation, entrepreneurs from the 2020 class of the PPA Acceleration Program participated, on April 2, in the first webinar on the construction of Model C - which help Business of impact to present in a single document its impact theory and financial projections -, integrating efficient tools and sustainability indicators.

Although the activity was already planned in the schedule of activities, the use of this type of tool may become more frequent depending on the unfolding of the coronavirus pandemic.

The webinar took place as an offshoot of the first in-person workshop of 2020, held in February. On that occasion, the group participated in an immersion to learn about Model C and elaborate its Theories of Change and indicator matrices. The virtual meeting took place to help complete this work. The construction of Model C for each of them continues throughout the Program, as the operational flow of the businesses will be worked on in the next meetings.

“The strategy is always to promote these webinars after in-person workshops, to talk about impressions and reflections. In this case, doubts were raised during the construction of the Theory of Change and the matrix of indicators that they brought back after talking to their teams”, assesses Ana Carolina Bastida, coordinator of the Acceleration Program at PPA.  

Antônio Ribeiro, from Move Social, partner responsible for the development of Model C with entrepreneurs, assesses that the webinar fulfilled its intended role, which was to keep the communication between the group warm, activate the network and move forward with the closing of the two expected products for the beginning of the Program – the Theory of Change and the matrix of indicators. 

“They received basic materials to work with and this virtual meeting was a moment of checking, to find out how they were progressing, to map out difficulties. The intention, given the progress we have achieved, is that everyone has this ready by April 14th”, says Antonio. Another point highlighted by him is the mobilization of male and female entrepreneurs to the challenges of the pandemic, making the meeting also a moment of collective listening and sharing of solutions. 

Ana also highlights the consequences of social isolation in business planning. Many of the entrepreneurs who need to go out into the field, in the relationship with communities, will have to make a forced stop in this movement. And this is also reflected in the construction of business indicators. 

“This webinar was important for them to talk about how they are experiencing this crisis and the impacts, especially in terms of reduced production and revenue. Cacauway, for example, will have a significant drop in sales, which tend to grow at this time of year because of Easter. Academia Amazônia Ensina is suspending its expeditions, with a return scheduled for the second half of the year. Tucum interrupted contact with indigenous communities. The Taberna da Amazônia has logistical challenges. We talked a little about some strategies that we are mapping to help them minimize the effects of the crisis, and we will also update the schedule of activities for the Acceleration Program in the coming weeks”, points out the Program coordinator. 

Feeling of network strengthens female entrepreneurs

Andrezza Olival, from Instituto Ouro Verde (IOV), an organization that works to help small family farmers, reinforcing production by adopting sustainable practices and boosting income generation, highlights the strengthening brought about by contact with Program partners, even if virtual: “Seeing other people who are in the same situation as us alone strengthens each one of us. We are isolated at home, respecting other people and the environments in which we live. We work with a population of family farming that is mostly elderly, so we had to really stop. And that, of course, has consequences. IOV was already going through some difficulties before this isolation, but now we definitely have to reformulate. And in this group of the Acceleration Program, we get stronger in the exchange with people who also have limitations similar to ours. Strategies that we didn't think about always come up and that can often help us too. And advancing in the Theory of Change and indicators in this collective way, sharing the difficulties and reflections, also helps us to advance individually. ”

Tucum Brasil, a business that sells indigenous art, is organized to keep payments to communities and purchase planning for the semester. “We have the money in cash, due to the investments that took place in the business, and we have to make the wheel turn. We have free shipping throughout our site and progressive discounts, all to dry up where you can and keep things running. Right now our biggest concern is that Covid 19 does not reach indigenous territories. We believe that keeping the forest economy active, buying handicrafts from the communities, even if they are not yet able to send the material, we help with this. Guaranteeing income for them. Tucum has stopped orders from various ethnic groups, but we are paying everyone. I will continue with the orders and they will be sent when possible”, says Amanda Santana, executive and creative director of Tucum.

Hélia Félix, from Cacauway, a company that manufactures Amazonian chocolates, highlights the solidarity between the group in this moment of crisis: “the work does not stop, and there is a very great importance in this process of people helping themselves, trying to do something to minimize all this impact being caused by Covid 19. The Program does not stop. Even though we can't meet in person right now, because we had a second workshop scheduled for April and that will have to be rescheduled, we keep meeting to get through this storm. ”

Maria Eugênia Tezza, from Academia Amazônia Teach, a business that offers the Amazon Expeditions 21, immersive formations developed to disseminate and debate topics related to sustainability, believes that the time of the virtual meeting was very productive in clearing doubts about the matrix of indicators and Theory of Change: “We brought everyone together and kept our hearts warm and firm in our idea of generating a positive impact, despite the moment that Brazil and the world are living with this pandemic. ”

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