The course of rural entrepreneurship and social protagonism, for young people living in rural communities of Paraíba and Rio Grande do Norte, certified 47 students who presented sustainable business proposals in the communities where they live. The initiative is part of neoenergia's SER Program, conceived by the Neoenergia Institute and carried out by the Local Economic Development Agency (Adel), which develops actions in 14 communities in both states. The Program, carried out with bndes social subcredit resources since 2020, involves 775 families, benefiting more than 3,000 people.
The initiative operates on pillars that directly impact the Municipal Human Development Index (MHDI) of the regions involved, meeting the three axes of the Index and which also represent the acronym of the project: Health, Education and Income. Through this premise, several actions are developed with the communities, one of which is the Young Rural Entrepreneur Program.
"Our goal is to make the community protagonist. Health, education and income are intertwined. The actions are created and developed with the participation of the communities and, in this way, we can direct the work according to the needs of each of them. We promote actions of access to water, healthy food, decent income, among others. Now we are supporting these young people to undertake," says Laura Porto, Executive Director of Renewables at Neoenergia.
In the first half of 2022, two classes completed the course and obtained the certificates of completion. The young rural entrepreneurs are from communities located in the municipalities of São José do Sabugi and Santa Luzia, in Paraíba, and Lagoa Nova and Bodó, in Rio Grande do Norte. At the end of the program, the students had the opportunity to present their business projects to an evaluating bank, formed by representatives of Adel and Neoenergia.
Fabrícia Pereira, 28, was one of the students who presented her proposal to undertake. She resides in the Sítio Massangana community, in Lagoa Nova (RN), and wants to expand the production and sale of strawberries in the region. "My dream became this project, which is called Natural Fruits. I aim to expand and develop the fruitful cultures of my region, partnering with the community and generating employment and income opportunities," he said.
Marise Eduarda (24), who lives in the Jatuarana Settlement in Bodó (RN), wants to invest in her digital business. " I already have my online store, 'Marise Gifts', where I sell perfumery, underwear and accessories. My idea is to expand my venture, add new products and for that I am already opening my microcompany," he revealed.
The SER Program has been in activity since 2020, when it was conceived by Neoenergia, with the support of the Neoenergia Institute, and began to be implemented by the Local Economic Development Agency (ADEL). Since then, several other projects have been developed with residents of the region
One of them is carried out with the laurels of the quilombola serra do Talhado community, in Santa Luzia (PB), and promotes actions such as improving the physical structure of the clay craft factory, managed by women. In this project, spaces for production and storage of handmade pieces, a kitchen and an office for the management of the Association of Louceiras da Serra do Talhado were revitalized.
The communities involved in the SER Program are also encouraged to join the family farming process. The so-called Productive Backyards are a way for families to grow and produce vegetables for consumption, increasing the food security of family centers. In all, there are 19 productive backyards and two community seedling nurseries, benefiting 120 families, who are assisted in the processes of production, management and direct marketing of the products of their rural enterprises.
In line with the company's commitments, the initiative contributed directly to seven of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda, in particular zero hunger and sustainable agriculture, quality education, clean water and sanitation, decent work and economic growth.