LET'S TALK ABOUT

W I T H   L I L I A N   S O U Z A  ( B R A S I L )

My name is Lilian Souza, I am 35 years old. I am an entrepreneur, specialist in pedagogical policies. I am Brazilian, and I live in the city of Salvador, an incredible place that has a rich cultural diversity, many beautiful places and happy and hospitable people. Brazil is a country with a sizeable territorial extension and a rich natural and cultural diversity.

Describe he culture and business situation in your country. How does your country impact international business?
The current scenario, Brazil, is facing severe political problems and financial recession.

However, the recession period opened up opportunities for previously unthinkable companies, such as collaborative businesses. Besides, importantly, highlighting the growing computerization of Brazilian consumers, nine out of ten people have cell phones, which facilitates access to information and warmed up the shopping journey.

Regarding the opening of companies, the country is considered one of the most bureaucratic. To open a business it takes more than 100 days, while in more developed countries the average is no more than five days.

One of the main characteristics of the Brazilian is creativity, and this should be used when starting a business. Without creativity, even if resources are abundant, it will be challenging to start a project, and even more complex to survive in the long term.

But creativity is not enough, and it is necessary to be bold to take the dreams off the paper and start generating results in practice and innovate. The Brazilian entrepreneur needs to be increasingly innovative. Adversity will always exist. Therefore, the focus should not be on the crisis or the bureaucracy, but on how these outbreaks will be circumvented to create prosperous, innovative and lasting businesses.

The current scenario for entrepreneurship is not the most encouraging, but it is sufficient for good companies to be formed. The prohibition of international trade is carried out through the WTO at the global level, and through several other regional arrangements such as Mercosur in South America; NAFTA, between the United States of America, Canada and Mexico; and the European Union, among 27 independent European states.

The World sees Brazil as a country with a lot of potentials as well as India, Russia and China. The foreign policy adopted by Brazil prioritizes an alliance between underdeveloped countries to trade commodities with rich countries.

Its most significant trading partners are the European Union, the United States of America, Mercosur and the Republic of China.

What are the key advantages and disadvantages of international cooperation?
Cooperating is the most effective way to undertake. It is increasingly necessary to work to compete in tight markets,dominated by large companies. Small businesses have to join forces around common goals.

International cooperation represents opportunities for partners. Thus, collaboration is the best way or the only means to achieve common goals in the globalized World. International cooperation opens windows of opportunity for developing countries. But cooperation requires bargaining to reach an agreement, and in the process, all partners try to maximize their interests. Thus, consummating a deal and sustaining it until the end is an arduous task.

They are benefits of cooperation, cost-sharing, access to experience, technology and facilities. The partnership also serves as political reinforcement for the project; creates or strengthens good relationships, influences partners and acts as a demonstration of leadership.

On the other hand, the risks in cooperating are the loss of freedom of action, with the creation of dependencies, in addition to increasing managerial complexity; political risks if cooperation fails, and involuntary help in creating or strengthening future competitors.

About economic & perspective…
We have a challenging scenario. Resumption of economic activity, discussion of the budget, American elections. All of this can and should bring some volatility to the markets. The low-interest scenario should motivate investors, and that is one of the positive sides of all this – the maturity of investors and the better definition of investment portfolios. Not to mention the fact that Brazil is no longer a haven for risk-free renters.

The understanding within the Ministry of Economy is also that, although the prospects are still blurred, the country has already gone through the hardest moment of the economic crisis.

The Federal Revenue sent to Minister Paulo Guedes reports demonstrating that the financial volume registered by the issuance of electronic invoices shows that consumers have returned to buy. A survey by VEJA magazine shows that the leading international exchanges are approaching the prepandemic scenario, and some even surpassed it.

About political situation…
Considering the current scenario, Brazil is in serious political trouble. With the spread of the new coronavirus, the political tension between the Union, the States and the municipalities also increased; and the opposition; especially after controversial statements made by the Presidency of the Republic.

People, business and entrepreneurs…
According to data from the 2010 Demographic Census, conducted by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), Brazil has 190,755,799 inhabitants, which makes the country the fifth most populous nation on the planet, second only to China, India, the United States and Indonesia, respectively.

Despite being the fifth most populous country, Brazil is among the least populated countries on the planet, with low demographic density.

The long-awaited economic recovery is already on the horizon, and for entrepreneurs, this is the time to plan to take advantage of the momentum. Thus, the most valuable services in Brazil are clothing, shoes and accessories, food and drink, construction, health, education, personal services, information technology, sales and marketing, and entertainment.

According to the IBGE, between 2001 and 2014, the number of entrepreneurs in the country grew by 22%, from 20.4 million to 24.9 million people. Taking into account the three categories of Sebrae’s clients, the 24.9 million entrepreneurs can be divided into 13.7 million potential entrepreneurs with businesses (55%); 6.7 million entrepreneurs (27%) and 4.5 million rural producers (18%). 

The participation of women in the total of entrepreneurs in the country is 32%. In 2001, female participation was 29%. This means that in the past 13 years, the number of women entrepreneurs has expanded by 2 million people.

The average age of the Brazilian entrepreneur is 44.7 years. The group of entrepreneurs is formed mainly by individuals between 35 and 44 years old (25%) and 45 and 54 years old (25%). Soon after, there are those between 25 and 34 years old (19%). The youngest, who are between 18 and 24 years old, represent only 5% of the total.

On average, in 2014, entrepreneurs had 7.9 years of study. When considering the educational levels, it is observed that around 1/3 of the total had only incomplete elementary education. On the other hand, 46% already had a higher level of education, with 30% having completed or unfinished high school and 16% with incomplete higher education or more.

The state of São Paulo is home to most Brazilian entrepreneurs. According to the survey “The Business Owners in Brazil”, the country has 4.9 million. It also identifies Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Bahia and the Rio Grande do Sul as protagonists about the number of people with an enterprise. The Southeast, the most populous region in the country, concentrates the largest of entrepreneurs.

Which business culture do you like?
I don’t particularly have a preferred business culture, and I think we should follow the one best suited to our business and reality. The less bureaucratic and supportive, the better.

What are the most beautiful and amazing things and places in your country? What is the typical product for export in your country?
Brail is an incredible country, with its abundant natural resources and fascinating cultural diversity. Cities like Rio de Janeiro and Salvador enchant everyone with their beautiful sights. The Northeast region has a rich coastline with beautiful beaches. Besides that, the Chapada Diamantina region, in Bahia, with its glorious natural riches, offers waterfalls, rivers, hills, caves, which enchants all nature and adventure lovers, as those who go the first time hardly want to leave. In 2019 the most exported products by Brazil were Soy, petroleum, iron ore, cellulose, corn, beef, chicken meat, manufactured products, soybean meal and coffee.

What’s the ideal product for export in your country?
Brazil’s economic activity is present in several parts of the World. Proof of this is the constant export of different goods to other countries.

The turn of the decade opened the door to new products in the ranking, such as petroleum fuel oils or bituminous minerals and sugars and molasses. In 2020, new products began to be exported in 2020, such as coffee, soybeans, crude petroleum oils or bituminous minerals, raw, iron ore and concentrate, combustible oil oils or bituminous minerals, fresh, refrigerated beef or frozen, cellulose, poultry meat and edible offal, fresh, chilled or frozen, soy bran and other animal feed (excluding unground cereals), meat and other animal meal, sugar and molasses.

In addition to these, agribusiness has been growing a lot in Brazil, which has encouraged the export of fruits, such as pineapple, which is among the best in the World, due to the dry soil and the hot climate.

Do you have some dreams?
Yes, I do. I have many dreams, not only for myself but for my family and the World. The biggest one is to see my brand Odoya grow and be recognized worldwide, valuing and encouraging handmade work.

Do you like some quotes?
I like Albert Einstein’s famous phrase, “The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary”. Because it is always necessary to be trained and updated to have the right to lead teams, be aware of innovative concepts, continuous process improvement, process modelling tools and the search for competitive advantages and many other essential details of business management. Only with work, dedication and effort will he achieve success.

What do you mean about International Business CLUB and networking?
The world international business refers to trade in goods, services, technology, capital or knowledge across national borders and on a global or transnational scale. International trade is growing actively. Brazilian foreign trade follows the same pace. There is no crisis in this area. Thus, the Business Club is essential because it is a business and social association that aims to bring together its members around their premises, space for exclusive use for business meetings and social coexistence, which provide an increase in personal, professional and business relationships among its members. The club has a structure for conferences, business lunches and social dinners, encouraging Networking and its socioeconomic business activities through which entrepreneurs come together to form business relationships and recognize, create or act on business opportunities, share information and seek potential partners for ventures.

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