With the limitations imposed by social isolation in the covid-19 pandemic, the activities of the PPA Acceleration Program, planned for the most part to be carried out in face-to-face meetings with entrepreneurs, were transformed into a digital journey.
The accelerated group in 2020 participated in a five-day face-to-face meeting in February, a fundamental immersion for establishing bonds between entrepreneurs and also for the elaboration of Theories of Change for each business.
From then on, with the epidemic advancing, the coordination of the Acceleration Program tried to find alternatives to continue the training cycle planned to develop over the first half of 2020.
A digital journey was designed, and included expansion of content and of facilitators and partners - not having to travel to face-to-face meetings facilitated the compatibility of agendas - and also the distribution of activities throughout the year, which provided more time for the absorption of the contents.
Entrepreneurs, the Program team and facilitators connected through webinars, which provided, in addition to sharing content, moments of exchange and collective construction.
For the coordinator of the Acceleration Program, Ana Carolina Bastida, the new format brought the challenge of maintaining the interaction between entrepreneurs and between entrepreneurs, facilitators and Program partners, which was very rich in face-to-face meetings.
“This interaction has been fundamental for entrepreneurs to establish partnerships, exchange lessons learned and experiences, because they live the same reality and the challenge of entrepreneurship in the Amazon. And we managed to bring this interaction, even at a distance, through the participatory formats of the modules. The businesses had space to interact and talk in the resolution of exercises and challenges proposed by the facilitators”, evaluates Ana.
The digital journey offered learning modules on value proposition, digital sales channels, logistics in the Amazon, branding and communication, operational intelligence, financial planning, accounting management and pricing.
In addition, three connection wheels were promoted: Entrepreneurship and business in the Amazon, with Ricardo Abramovay; People management and self-care, with Regina Erismann; and Export of sustainable products, with Edy Chammah, from Brazil Global.
The Program coordination assesses that the new format has brought more efficiency by reducing logistics costs and travel time. And also more efficient absorption of the content itself, due to the more spaced distribution of modules throughout the year.
“The training cycle in digital format brought an opportunity for entrepreneurs to connect, from various parts of the Amazon, to partner facilitators throughout Brazil. The meetings helped in the organization process in the face of the pandemic crisis, and brought content and strategic partnerships for businesses, such as logistics and exports”, assesses Guilherme Faleiros, new business analyst at Idesam.
Connection and learning
To Saulo Thomas, from ONF Brazil, the activities offered contemplated the needs of the business, in particular the modules focused on logistics and organizational strategy. “These lessons helped us to think about organizing the house first, before moving on to new things. The diversity of modules was very interesting, topics such as branding and communication were very new for us.”
Maria Eugenia Tezza, from Academia Amazon Teaches, highlights that the Program enabled the development of strategic skills for the continuity of the business. “The situation was really delicate because of the pandemic, but with the support of the PPA Acceleration Program and our expedition members, we managed to get through this period. The digital journey brought a very interesting format that managed to keep us connected. Thankfully, our first event managed to be in person, so that we could all look at each other and feel part of a united group in favor of conscious and engaged entrepreneurship. This made online activities provide more connection between us.”
After the modules of the digital journey, in which he had greater use in the topic of communication and branding, Academia Amazônia Ensina hired a communication professional and is currently working on the rebranding of the business.
Hélia Félix, from cocoaway, assesses that the new format brought great benefits, and also made it possible for more people on the team to participate in the training: “In each activity, we organized small groups of people who identified with the theme. It was an intense journey and a lot of learning.”
The digital journey also brought the possibility of increasing the number of participants in connection circles and other activities, bringing together entrepreneurs from the 2019 cycle to those from the 2020 cycle, and further expanding the interaction and exchange between the members of the two groups.
To Tainah Fagundes, from of the Tribu, accelerated in 2019, the Program provided opportunities for updating and getting closer to the new initiatives accelerated this year, establishing connections and the possibility of exchanges.
Joanna Martins, from maniac, also accelerated in 2019, highlights the richness of the activities offered: “The Program has helped us a lot in terms of connections and knowledge, in a way out of the curve compared to other initiatives and groups in which we participate. This has brought enrichment and very positive results for Manioca”.