Bags of Entrepreneurship in BrazilImages 1 total
Meet the ‘Achievements Club’ – a group of girls in northeastern Brazil who have started their own small business after learning entrepreneurship skills as part of Credit Suisse’s Financial Education for Girls Program.
The girls, all aged 12-14, chose the club name themselves, saying it “demonstrates unity in pursuit of [our] goal”. They meet weekly to learn about planning, budgeting, and enterprise development, as well as their rights as girls and citizens. After being encouraged to save money through the club, the girls were inspired to start making their own money, so as not to be reliant on their parents for it.
Having learned about how one can take raw materials and turn them into something useful, they have started producing fabric bags which they decorate and sell on at a profit. They start by purchasing plain cotton tote bags, then use paints and dyes to design patterns and characters to make the bags unique.
Some of the girls have also involved their mothers in the enterprise – they crotchet small extra adornments for the bags. Engaging and passing on to their families what they have learnt in the club is an important part of ensuring sustainability and buy-in for teaching girls about money.
The bags are in demand locally – the girls report they already have several orders for more. They are holding a bazaar in the community to sell them, and are also planning a raffle to make even more money!
One group member says “Since joining the project we all have a new relationship with money, we learned the importance of saving to reach a goal or a dream. We began together to think about how to achieve our common goal.” The girls are currently saving for a group outing to dinner and the cinema as an end-of-term celebration. This is not something they would be able to do without their earnings, and it is a true bonding experience for them.