Solar Energy in Social Housing, a Discarded Solution in Brazil

The social housing complexes of Morada do Salitre and Praia do Rodeadouro (main photo), with solar panels on their rooftops, make up a village of 1,000 families on the outskirts of the city of Juazeiro, in the Brazilian state of Bahia. A solar energy project, which has been suspended, created jobs for local residents to plant trees and clean the streets.  JUAZEIRO, Northeastern Brazil  – “Our main challenge is to get the project back on track,” agreed the administrators of two affordable housing complexes, where a small solar power plant was…

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The Chinese Century: Is China-Brazil relationship a proxy of a new global governance?

Nature hates the vacuum, so do superpowers. Therefore, the geopolitical space allowed by the United States is seemingly being filled by China [1]. For instance, the Asian giant became Brazil’s most important trade partner in 2009 and Chinese investment in Brazil began around 2010 [2] as part of a state-led directive to increase China’s food and energy security through overseas acquisitions. Brazil plays an important role locally given the country´s economic weight and regional influence; therefore, a partnership with China changes the regional geopolitical landscape. The increase of interest in…

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Circular economy: How a Brazilian cosmetics company is reviving the Amazon forest

Leading Brazilian cosmetics company Natura launched its ‘Amazon Program’ in 2011 aiming at achieving an inclusive business model. The Ekos Ucuuba product line is one example. Combining its bio-intelligence and community knowledge, Natura extracts seed oil from ucuuba trees, which are threatened with extinction, as the core product ingredient. Social Challenges: The increased exploitation of timber and other natural materials in the Amazon Forest over the last 30 years has led this region to face the threat of biodiversity losses which in turn affect greater climate issues. Also, local labours…

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Brazilian e-commerce is booming! Is your online shop ready for “samba”?

If you work with international e-commerce, you must have heard that Brazil is the next online powerhouse. The current growth in the number of smartphones has opened up a world of e-possibilities to millions of Brazilians, from all income levels. There are already more than 48 million unique online buyers yearly, which represents a quarter of Brazil’s population. However, there is room for more, and the sector is indeed growing! Although e-commerce in Brazil is still responsible for only 3% of all retail in the country, it is presenting persistent…

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Why Brazil’s tourism still is under-performing

Brazil is a huge country, one of the biggest of the world. Its seaside measures over 7,400 km and two worldwide famous cities are located there: Rio de Janeiro and Salvador. On the top of that, Brazil recently hosted two of the biggest events in the world: the Football World Cup and the Olympic Games. However even boasting some impressive figures, locations and events, Brazil still receives very few foreigner tourists. According to Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism, this number was 6.6 mi in 2016. Meanwhile, over 80 mi tourists went to France in…

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Is It Time for Mobile Payments to Take Off in Brazil?

Two years is a long time for technology development. Back in 2015, several home-grown mobile payment apps were taking off. Still, none of the big players was showing a real interest in the country. Fast forward two years and the mobile payments landscape is very different. The major players are betting big on Brazil: Samsung Pay arrived in 2015, and Google Pay was launched in October 2017. Now, Android Pay finally arrived in Brazil too. It operates with near-field communication (NFC) technology, the same way Samsung Pay and Google Pay…

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Emerging Markets Have a Lot to Teach Us About Entrepreneurship

Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are legendary American entrepreneurs. These giants’ success stories might make it seem as if the United States owns the market when it comes to the secrets of commercial success. I would argue the opposite is true: Developing nations and emerging markets have important entrepreneurship lessons to teach more affluent counties. Programs within Chile, India and Brazil, for example, have encouraged economic growth and entrepreneurship. These same efforts and principles could be applied to advance the United States even further. Government initiatives Government initiatives in emerging markets have played…

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China is investing big in Brazil but not how you’d imagined

Brazil and China are the world’s foremost emerging markets. Brazil’s political turmoil and the economic downturn in the last to years didn’t seem to change China’s will to invest into the largest South American economy. China’s investments varies from region to region. In on of my previous posts I mentioned how China is investing in Africa, not only in infrastructure projects e.g. building highways in Tanzania and electricity projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, but also financing the first African metro system in Addis Abba in Ethiopia. With Brazil there is a…

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Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video: Who’s winning in emerging markets?

As internet penetration is growing exponentially in some emerging economies, particularly Brazil and India, the two biggest video streaming services Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are going all in. Amazon Leading the Way, Netflix Trailing Behind Amazon came to India in 2013 and has already caught up with India’s biggest eCommerce site Flipkart in only 3 years. The numbers were impressive, from 2015 to 2016 Amazon grew its business 120%. In December 2016, Amazon launched its Prime Video service there. The price was an important factor in attracting new subscribers: charging only $15 per…

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