Over the past three years, Students For Liberty has greatly impacted the lives of 1,725 schoolchildren from the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, by providing them with entrepreneurship classes that are essential to their chances of breaking the cycle of poverty.
The Brazilian government’s neglect of public education robs these young people of their future prospects. The numbers are distressing: one-third of young people are not enrolled in high school. Even in the wealthiest state in the country, a staggering 96 percent of students leave elementary school without the basic math skills to solve 1st-degree equations.
To combat the dire state of public education in Brazil and empower younger generations to succeed in life, our team launched the Brasil Empreende (Free Market Revolution) Project, aimed at educating schoolchildren on the essential principles of finance and management.
The initiative started in 2019 with an awareness campaign to educate people about the significance of entrepreneurship and free markets. We organized 40 events and hosted more than 5,000 attendees at different universities across the country, featuring successful entrepreneurs, politicians, and professors as speakers.
To increase our impact, we collaborated with prominent pro-liberty organizations in Brazil, including Mises Brasil Institute and LIVRES, among others, as well as several prestigious universities. One of our events featured lectures from successful entrepreneurs and innovators, politicians, and even Governor Romeu Zema, from the NOVO (New) Party. We also engaged with 20 congresspeople who signed a letter of commitment to support entrepreneurship and business freedom.
Initially, the project focused on university students, but after getting real-world feedback, the SFL Brazil team determined that a younger low-income audience, who are facing worse living conditions and struggling to complete middle or high school, would benefit the most.
Our online entrepreneurship course was designed to offer a comprehensive learning experience to a large group of students. It includes 20 hours of lectures, divided into 10 modules, featuring insights and teachings from renowned professors and entrepreneurs. The course covers a wide range of topics, including entrepreneurship, economics, emotional intelligence, and project management, and teaches other essential skills required to become successful professionals in the future.
Following the completion of the recording, the SFL Brazil team sought and obtained approval from state schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods throughout the country to present our entrepreneurship course to their students. To increase our reach, we partnered with 27 educational institutions, which have the potential to impact over 150,000 students in the near future.
“The Brasil Empreende project is an excellent initiative to empower young people to manage their finances,” said Everaldo Cavalcanti, Regional Coordinator of SFLB and School Teacher in Pedra, a small town in Pernambuco. “I could see students from the countryside realize the importance of saving money and how they can make their own money. After taking our entrepreneurship course, one of our students, an 11-year-old Mirelle, decided to start saving money and producing dolls to generate income. Thanks to the skills she learned, Mirelle now has a path to achieving her dream of owning a bicycle. Listening to a heartwarming story like this means we are on the right track,” he concluded.
The SFL Brazil team continues to assist young people from underprivileged areas in developing an entrepreneurial mindset and breaking free from poverty. Our objective for this year is to provide education on the fundamentals of finance and management to 10,000 schoolchildren, giving them an opportunity for success in life.
This piece solely expresses the opinion of the author and not necessarily the organization as a whole. Students For Liberty is committed to facilitating a broad dialogue for liberty, representing a variety of opinions.