Economic development in the favelas (shanty towns)

In Sao Paulo in Brazil, Empreenda!, a non-profit organization that offers micro-credit facilities to small entrepreneurs, is continuing to open agencies in underprivileged areas of this huge city and help favela inhabitants pull themselves out of poverty.

Social and Employment

São Paulo, Brazil

Marlik Bentabet

40,000 euro to the Selection Committee at 2006/03/28

  Project leader Empreenda

«  Empreenda! is an original social project that harnesses business and economic values to combat poverty. Its aim is to give its clients a means of taking charge of their own destiny.  »

Marlik Bentabet

The micro-credit system set up in many countries allows very small entrepreneurs to develop their activity and support their families. It is estimated that throughout the world there are almost 10,000 such structures offering micro-credit services to almost 25 million. One of them is Empreenda!, set up in a poor suburb of Sao Paulo in Brazil. It offers loans to small tradesman earning barely more than 100 euros a month, allowing them to buy equipment, for instance, and expand their business.

Two million small entrepreneur

The Veolia foundation helped Empreenda! for the first time in 2005 by approving a 50,000 euro grant to open a new agency. The organization, set up by two young French people and already employing an assistant and two credit agents, was faced with huge demand in this gigantic city – 18 million inhabitants including some two million small entrepreneurs!
In 2006, Empreenda! opened an agency in another favela of Sao Paulo, next door to the first one, in order to offer its services to new clients. The Veolia foundation, keen to contribute to local development by helping poor entrepreneurs improve their situation, decided to support the organization's new project by approving another 40,000 euro grant for Empreenda!