The start of my second day with the Afro-Brazilian incubator held a lot of promise. I was meeting two entrepreneurs that ABI supported. I was hoping to learn about their way of doing business and may be offer my perspective on how they could improve or expand. I arrived at the office at 9:30, and Paulo and I proceeded to take a bus to reach the first entrepreneur.
We got off the bus after a 30-minute ride to go downhill on a very quiet street. It was 10:15am but the temperature was already 35C (95F) with 70% humidity. After walking for quarter of a mile, we reach a tin-roof shed. And that’s it! That’s the store of our first entrepreneur. To be honest, I was a little disappointed at first. I was expecting a bigger set-up. When I read the agenda that I will be meeting an entrepreneur dealing in fashion jewelry with design collection inspired from African divinity, I had perceived something entirely different. It was a workshop at best. That is when I was reminded why it was so important for me to visit the port area the other day and understand the evolution of a historically marginalized community and appreciate that social ascendance take generations to affect.