Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs Releases Report on Social and Inclusive Businesses in Brazil

November 16, 2011

Carrie Barnes
(215) 239-4643

Washington—November 16, 2011—Data from new research coordinated by the Brazil Chapter of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), the AVINA Foundation, and Potencia Ventures demonstrates significant growth for social and inclusive businesses in Brazil. The purpose of the study was to identify which regions and groups are fueling the most economic and social change.

The report, released this week in English in time for Global Entrepreneurship Week, reveals a changing landscape for Base of the Pyramid (BoP) customers in Brazil, where 40 million people are still living below the poverty line. Three key groups in this emerging sector—businesses, capacity development providers, and investors—were examined. Operations, performance, and impact were evaluated, and data was aggregated by business sector.

The mapping project was conducted by Plano CDE, a research and consultancy firm based in Brazil specializing in the BoP. Among the study’s key findings:

  • The Southeast region of Brazil has a concentration of talent: nearly half of the social or inclusive businesses, 75 percent of capacity developers, and 86 percent of investors are based in this region.
  • Social impact matters: more than 90 percent of the 50 businesses examined in depth were established with the intention of creating social impact, and 93 percent of investors consider social impact when evaluating investment proposals.
  • 70 percent of the businesses surveyed are relatively young, established within the past ten years, and nearly 75 percent sell their goods and services to individuals and households.
  • Support to education-related businesses is highest: 75 percent of capacity development providers focus on this sector, and 64 percent of the investors prefer to invest in this area.
  • Over the last three years, the 40 capacity development providers studied have supported 250 businesses, more than 50 percent of which are now self-sustainable.

“Social and inclusive businesses as well as being economically lucrative, have a direct positive impact on low-income people, whether offering high-quality products and services at affordable prices or creating opportunities in the value chain,” said Rob Parkinson, Coordinator of the ANDE Brazil Chapter.

The study shows that 72 percent of the beneficiaries of those businesses examined were from the lowest income groups, households earning less than two minimum wages or approximately $680 per month. 38 percent of the businesses focus their impact on women, 30 percent on children and teenagers, and 16 percent on those with disabilities.

The mapping confirms that well-managed and economically viable social businesses make an important contribution to the well-being of low-income groups in Brazil, as a source of income and access to essential products and services.

To read the full report, please visit:
To view the Portuguese version, please visit:

The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) is a global network of organizations that invest money and expertise to propel entrepreneurship in emerging markets. ANDE members are the vanguard of a movement that is focused on small and growing businesses (SGBs) that create economic, environmental, and social benefits for developing countries. ANDE’s Brazil Chapter brings together member organizations across the country to generate and share knowledge around businesses focused on the base of the pyramid, facilitate dialogue with other players in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, and build connections with the international movement for SGBs. For more information, please visit:, or to visit ANDE’s Brazil Chapter, refer to:


View Comments