Entrepreneurs are often characterised as being forward thinkers, always alert to new ideas and opportunities. In order for such a mindset to develop, qualities of independence and creativity must be nurtured.
For decades, high-risk investments such as start-ups weren’t encouraged in Brazil’s business culture, which was conservative in nature due to the country’s history of economic instability. This meant qualities such as independence and creativity were slow to evolve. However, with the government encouraging growth, a culture of entrepreneurship has emerged: Brazilians are seeking greater autonomy and moving away from jobs where they have a boss to answer to.
Brazilians are seeking greater autonomy and moving away from jobs where they have a boss to answer to
Still, Brazilian businesspeople must navigate bureaucratic hurdles, from lengthy tax forms to slow processing times. As such, not only must business owners in the country deal with the difficulties faced by entrepreneurs around the world (raising capital, attracting customers and so on) – they also have to navigate issues such as the high cost of recruiting in Brazil.
Recently, employment methods have changed: for example, contractors can be hired as legal entities instead of individuals, meaning the employer doesn’t have to process their social security contribution. As laws applying to small businesses become more welcoming of start-ups, Brazil is set to see an increase in entrepreneurship.
Visiting the Valley
Entrepreneurship has always existed in Brazil, but as a result of the country’s economic growth in recent decades, its entrepreneurial profile is now changing. Turning to more established business centres can provide inspiration. In Silicon Valley, the world’s leading innovation hub, competitors can be found working together, guided by a collaborative vision that Brazil’s business environment could benefit from.
FIA Business School, which offers an international MBA programme, recognises the learning opportunities offered by Silicon Valley and has, as a result, added a trip to the Californian hub to its MBA programme. Over the course of the trip, students can gain an insight into how this nest of creativity functions. The trip has become a must-have experience on the MBA programme, attracting young executives looking to build a company with international success.
In addition to visiting state-of-the-art technology companies such as Netflix, Google, HP, Facebook, SAP, Salesforce and Amazon, students on the trip are afforded time with the start-up accelerator Plug and Play Tech Centre. They also attend lectures given by prominent entrepreneurs and investors, as well as classes at the esteemed Berkeley and Stanford Universities. It would be much easier to bring teachers and executives to Brazil to teach our students, but at FIA, we don’t choose the easy or comfortable option – we choose what is best for our students.
In Brazil, networking is often approached as just occasional efforts at building connections; the mindset of networking as a long-term investment is still not fully established in the country. In Silicon Valley, however, forming contacts is considered an essential way for entrepreneurs to develop their businesses. FIA Business School’s trip to Silicon Valley provides an environment in which students can develop their networking skills.
The course is tailored to the needs of each student, taking the stage of their career and their goals into account. As such, they can choose from a number of pathways, whether they want to start a business or assume a higher position in the company they work for. Having completed the course, many of our students have left their long-term jobs in order to launch their own companies.
The MBA at FIA Business School is dynamic. It enables students to outline their career plans, fill gaps in their skills and training, and travel abroad to experience the world’s most important innovation hub. There is no formula or script to entrepreneurship; the idea is simply to be more innovative every day. FIA aims to nurture the disruptive students who will change the world.