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Mentoring Program Advances Among Fast Track Businesses

Entrepreneurs who are part of PPA's Acceleration and Impact Investing Program portfolio are interacting with mentors to strengthen their businesses.

The mentorships, volunteers, started in July, and are focused on specific areas identified by each startup accelerated – which are quite varied and range from communication, marketing, business and management models, commercial strategies and pricing to more specific demands, such as improving mobile applications, modeling agroforestry and silvipastoral systems, cost structure in production chains and microcredit.

The Acceleration Program promoted a call for volunteer mentors and from the match between the demands pointed out by the businesses and the profiles of the professionals who signed up, he appointed mentors for each area. The number of applicants – more than a hundred – and the qualification positively surprised the coordinator of the Mentoring Program, Daniel Caramori Alves.

“We had a great result in our call for mentors, with a high number of candidates enrolled and highly qualified professionals, including some names that are national references in their area of expertise. In this way, we are able to provide the businesses in the Acceleration Program portfolio with the opportunity to have quality professional support that otherwise could only be obtained by contracting services, and which can have a high positive impact in important areas of these businesses,” says Daniel.

Businesses and mentors positively evaluate the experience

Currently, 14 businesses participate in the Mentoring Program, two from the 2019 cycle and 12 from the accelerated group in 2020. 

Among entrepreneurs, the evaluation of mentoring has been positive. As in the case of COEX Carajas, an extractive cooperative located in Parauapebas, Pará, whose main activity is the extraction and sale of jaborandi leaves, and which also works with seed collection. The demand presented was for business and management models, which led to the match with mentor Fábio Deboni, from Instituto Sabin, who is part of the Parceiros pela Amazônia platform.

“Mentorship has brought applicable solutions to our problems, and the mentor is always concerned with listening to us and serving us, respecting our identity. We are grateful for the attention and work dedicated to us”, assesses Jayne Nobre, from COEX Carajás.  

For Deboni, “acting as a mentor for COEX Carajás was a unique opportunity to learn from the reality of an Amazonian cooperative and, at the same time, be able to contribute with reflections, paths and ideas that could strengthen the organization's management. I identified with the members of the board and we had a very good rapport. ”

O Instituto Ouro Verde (IOV), located in Alta Floresta, Mato Grosso, requested mentoring in microcredit. The Institute works with family farmers, fostering a network of collaboration, reinforcing sustainable production and practices, and boosting income generation. Currently, it works to expand microcredit actions and support the commercialization of family farming products.

“For us, the mentoring process has been decisive. Thanks to him, we were able to review all internal procedures for managing microcredit and even discuss changes throughout the Institute's organization to provide more legal certainty and efficiency to this action. We are confident that we will have extremely effective instruments to support the expansion of microcredit actions and benefit an increasing number of farmers,” assesses Alexandre Olival, one of the founders of IOV.

Pedro Ananias Alves, from RC Microfinance, a mentor who works with the Institute, observes that the relationship has been extremely productive “in terms of preparing the institution for a larger production microcredit operation aimed at rural producers in the region. It is very gratifying to be able to support IOV in its mission to promote better working and living conditions for family farmers, while inducing them to sustainable production practices. ”

The coordinator of the Mentoring Program, Daniel Caramori Alves, highlights the importance of the involvement of mentors, whose voluntary engagement has provided knowledge to the businesses in the PPA Acceleration Program portfolio in areas that are essential for its growth and evolution. “They have our special thanks for helping to build this ecosystem of impact in the Amazon, strengthening businesses that seek new paradigms for the region's economy. ”

The meetings between mentors and entrepreneurs continue until December. In the coming months, evaluations will also be carried out on processes and results for business development. 

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