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Tucum is one of the winners of the Empreender com Impacto Latam Award, from Mercado Livre

Representative of Brazil in the final stage of the second edition of Entrepreneur with Impact Award can, the tucum, represented by entrepreneur Amanda Santana, was second out of six semi-finalists and received a $10,000 prize to boost the business.

First place went to the project Ecocitex, from Chile, which received 20 thousand dollars. And in third place, public choice, was the project closing the cycle, from Mexico, which received the 5,000 dollar prize.

The winners stood out among 614 participants from Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay. The award was announced at a virtual meeting, which brought together the semi-finalists and a jury composed of references in entrepreneurship, social innovation and impactful business in the region.

Tucum focuses on the commercialization of traditional art from indigenous peoples and riverside dwellers in Brazil, working with indigenous organizations and initiatives in training and training with the purpose of promoting, valuing and disseminating Brazilian cultural diversity. 

With 10 years of experience in the Amazon, the project fosters the autonomy of indigenous peoples, promoting income generation and autonomy, settlement in the territory, maintenance of culture and traditional knowledge and the recognition and appreciation of artisanal production.

“Many people are still amazed by our business, which is unusual in uniting indigenous peoples to the digital environment. This award is a very important recognition, which shows that we are on the right path. We want to break paradigms and prejudices. Mercado Livre is a partner in our journey, supporting, offering content and providing security for us to continue with renewed energy on this journey. And with Empreender com Impacto, it comes to strengthen this network of impact and the small entrepreneurs who are yet to come”, says Amanda Santana, creator of Tucum.

O Entrepreneur with Impact is part of the sustainability strategy of the Free Market and, in Brazil, is articulated by the Giral Viveiro de Projeto Consulting, and featured content produced from the market intelligence of the Free Market and the extensive experience with entrepreneurship and social innovation of Semente de Negócios – accelerator that has been active in the development of innovative businesses since 2011 – and Coalizão Éditodos – a group of organizations from the black entrepreneurship ecosystem, which works collectively to promote entrepreneurship at the base of the pyramid.

In 2020, the Program sought to add to the growing demand of the impact entrepreneurship ecosystem in Brazil, supporting entrepreneurs in strengthening commercial strategies, in efficiently and sustainably accessing markets and in leveraging its benefits to society.

“Empreender com Impacto seeks to empower Latin American entrepreneurs who generate social and environmental benefits through their businesses, so that Tucum's victory is quite symbolic, not only for the importance of the Amazon for Latin America, but for the fact that it contributes to generation of income and for the conservation of the forest by valuing traditional knowledge” says Laura Motta, Sustainability Manager at Mercado Livre.

New platform

This month Tucum launched a marketplace that aims to bring together stores belonging to indigenous groups that produce handicrafts and with which it has been working in these 10 years of operation.

The first three stores are from Galeria Amazônica, a store owned by the Waimiri Atroari Community Association, by Meprodjá – Arte Kayapó and by Tecê-AGIR, Arte das Guerreiras de Rondônia. Tucum continues to be one of the stores on the market place, and sells handicrafts from other groups until they are prepared to have autonomy with their own stores.

“These initiatives have been working with crafts for a long time and now they want to position themselves online. And Tucum will be that platform, which will make it possible for them to realize this dream”, evaluates Amanda Santana. All photos, essays and media were taken by indigenous groups. “The whole process was done by them, we wanted them to feel what working online is like and realize that it's all up to them. We provide support whenever necessary.”

In October, Tucum began a distance learning experience with indigenous leaders: the program Training of Indigenous Managers in the online sale of handicrafts. The initiative was built on the premise of preparing these leaders to make their sales on any online platform, whether on Tucum's marketplace, on its own website or on social networks such as Facebook and Instagram. These first three stores are the result of this work.

Tucum's new platform brings a map of Brazil where it is possible to visualize all the ethnic groups that work with the project, the location of handicrafts and the impacts caused, among many other data. “We invite everyone to buy in the forest through the Tucum platform and realize the positive impact that this causes”, celebrates Amanda.

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