Aiming to enhance and foster the prosperity of small businesses of afro-entrepreneurs, Grupo Carrefour Brasil is exhibiting products in its physical stores, located in São Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul, and also in its marketplace. The initiative, which is part of a series of actions to encourage racial equity and black entrepreneurship established by the Group, aims to present new products and services to customers and offer tools to increase access and visibility of these businesses in retail.
Among the brands included in this first stage of the action are: Makeda Cosmeticos, specialized in products for frizzy, curly and wavy hair; Afra Design, responsible for producing and marketing the inclusive ethnic stationery line, such as notebooks, diaries, planners, notepads; DaMinha Cor, a swimming cap store for voluminous hair, among other products; Madiba Pet, manufacturer of pet accessories; and Made Tábuas, a maker of wooden barbecue and kitchen boards.
So that they could act as suppliers to the retail chain, the brand owners underwent 90 days of mentoring offered by professionals from the Grupo Carrefour in partnership with Afrobusiness. “We want the inclusion of small Afro-entrepreneurs in Carrefour's supplier portfolio, whether for the insertion of products in our stores or in the provision of services. For this, we provided all the technical support in the legal area, as well as consultancy for issuing certificates and documents, a study for financial facilitation and guidance regarding packaging and labeling, and definition of the brand's strategy”, explains Tatiana Jorge, Commercial Planning Manager of Grupo Carrefour, which adds: "our objective is to enhance entrepreneurship, education, employability and fight discrimination inside and outside our stores".
In addition to the items on display on the shelves of brick-and-mortar stores, consumers will find products from other black entrepreneurs for sale in our Market Place. “Carrefour's website has 10 million hits per month, which considerably expands the reach of a small business. Therefore, we also opted for online, in order to increasingly publicize the Afro-entrepreneurship network and expand the performance of these professionals", commented Tatiana Jorge.
Anti-racism in practice
For the entrepreneurs contemplated by the action, the initiative played an important role in structuring and professionalizing their business, aiming at accessing large retail chains, with emphasis on the care taken to look at the specificities of each venture throughout the process.
“This type of action is important so that there is, in fact, inclusion, encouragement and the opening of opportunities for afro-entrepreneurs”, comments Eugenio Sabino, partner at Made Tábuas.
For Maurício Delfino, partner at DaMinha Cor, the main highlight is the mentoring process. “They understood our particularities and the possible existing gaps. They were patient and flexible in relation to some requirements”, he says. Opinion that is complemented by Samara Silva, founder of Madiba Pet: “We greatly admire the mentoring work. All people continue to support us today. They gave all the support necessary for us to get here. Those were days of a lot of interaction, emotion and connection”, he says.
“I think that as a black woman, I learned a lot during the 90 days of mentoring. I always knew that it was not easy to be present in the big chains, but that was one of my goals that, thanks to Carrefour, I managed to achieve. We keep waiting for more affirmative actions, like this one, within large companies”, assesses Ana Cláudia Silva, CEO and founder of Afra Design.
Sheila Makeda, executive partner at Makeda Cosmeticos, is rooting for other retailers to promote initiatives such as Carrefour, which values Afro-entrepreneurs. “That actions like this happen frequently. We are rooting for all companies to be anti-racist in practice, offering growth opportunities for each one of us”, she says.
Find out about other initiatives focused on entrepreneurship by Grupo Carrefour Brasil here on the website.
About the image
On the night of November 19, 2020, João Alberto Silveira Freitas was killed on the premises of our store in Passo D'Areia, in Porto Alegre/RS, in an act that does not represent and is not consistent with Carrefour's values.
On this website, we reinforce the actions we are taking in view of this fact and the commitments made to society and to our body of more than 100,000 employees throughout Brazil. With the objective of continuing to evolve as a company and contributing to the fight against structural racism in Brazil.