This month's entrepreneur is Victor Navarro Castello Branco, CEO of Courreiros Ecolivery and winner of Eco-Challenge for the 2013 Edition. Courreiros is the first and only business in Brazil that ships documents and small packages in an eco-friendly way. That means that they deliver either by bike, skateboard or even run! Clients can reach them through Facebook, mobile apps, and email. There is no longer need to wait forever for your request to be handled, its service is fast and efficient. And surprisingly, almost 50 percent of them use their mobile apps. What is more impressive, Courreiros is based in Sao Paulo, the largest city in the Southern Cone and the sixth most populated city in the world.
Victor came up with the idea of Courreiros a few years ago while he was studying Business Administration and working in an Investment Bank in Sao Paulo. After sometime in the company, Victor realized that in order for an idea or suggestion to be considered by his supervisor, it would have to go through a very rigid and hierarchical structure that involved at least 20 people. Moreover, Victor worked frequently with motorcycle messengers, who according to him "represent a workforce of about 20,000 people and are less than professional and not friendly." He saw these two inconveniences in his working life as the key factors to create a delivery market niche in Sao Paulo. In 2012, he decided to partner with his childhood friend André Biselly to create Courreiros Ecolivery.
Victor knew it was not going to be easy to become an entrepreneur in Brazil, specifically given its protectionist economy. After two years in business, Courreriros has made it big time. It currently works with more than 400 clients -raging from PepsiCo to bio-friendly stores-, has more than 20,000 followers in its social media networks, and employs 26 people. They also offer holiday jobs, which are usually taken by students wanting to earn some extra money. Interestingly, Courreiros team consists of Brazilians coming from different social backgrounds, i.e. affluent students, sport and environment lovers, and low-income young adults. The latter are financially supported by Courreiros to enable them to participate in national biking competitions. Their team composition shows not only that they represent an innovative business keen to preserve the environment, but that its founders also care about social inclusion.
Nonetheless, Victor thinks there is plenty of space for growth of his business. In an interview with YABT, he told us: "TIC Americas 2013 has enormously helped to raise Courreiros's profile as a more professional, serious, and reliable company. Since 2013, we almost doubled in size." For now, Victor wants Courreiros "to make it work, to make it sustainable, to leave it alone and let it work by itself." In the long run, Victor's goal is to take over Sao Paulo's delivery service market and expand Courreiros to Rio de Janeiro.
As we are approaching TIC Americas's and Eco-Challenge's registration deadline for the 2014 Edition, we seize the opportunity to ask Victor to give some advice to all young entrepreneurs and young people with a great innovative idea eager to participate in this competition. His answer was: "Do what you believe it is right, but do it with passion. If it does not work, you will at least have a good time and try it again."
We invite all interested young entrepreneurs and young people in the Americas with an innovative idea for a business to submit their application before the registration deadline, on March 2 2014. In case of inquiries about the registration process, you can reach YABT's team through Facebook, Twitter, or email firstname.lastname@example.org