030_G17_Spotlight_Brazil

Global_17

Spotlight Brazil State gives entrepreneurs a helping hand A government-backed initiative is attracting local and foreign entrepreneurs looking for a chance to make it big in South America’s biggest economy Angelica Mari Traditionally, public-sector jobs have been the most attractive prospect for any young Brazilian looking for a stable and well-paid career. Indeed, civil servants represent a 9.4 million-strong workforce in a country of 194 million and such jobs remain exceptionally stable and well protected. A cushy government job could be the best option for those entering the workforce and looking to do as little as possible in return for a large pay packet. But the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais is looking to foster a different kind of attitude amongst young people and is ploughing cash into creating an entrepreneurial mindset. Minas Gerais is injecting R$15 million (US$6.2 million) into Start-ups and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development (SEED), a start-up acceleration programme designed to retain talent and bring investments to the Brazilian state. According to the programme managers, another key issue that the state wants to address is the mass exodus of skilled people who leave Minas to seek work in larger urban centres such as São Paulo. “A major problem that bothers us a lot is the fact that we have talented people with very good educational backgrounds in Minas Gerais, but they end up leaving the state and going elsewhere. And we want to retain this human capital,” says André Barrence, chief executive at the San Pedro Valley in Minas Gerais will provide a base for domestic and foreign companies looking to target Brazilian consumers 30 l www.global -br ief ing.org f i rst quar ter 2014 global


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