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Aim on business

Course for qualifying managers is to support consolidation of companies in PIPE

Innovative companies have a high potential for generating income and jobs. But it all depends on the good management of the business. To consolidate their participation in the market and to expand the socioeconomic impact of small technological innovation companies, FAPESP, in partnership with the Enterprise Endeavor Institute and the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae-SP), launched a project for qualifying entrepreneurs, with the support of the Small Business Innovation Research Program (PIPE), created by the Foundation in 1997. “The greater part of companies have a clearer vision of the product than of the business”, explains FAPESP’s scientific director, José Fernando Perez.

The Managerial Qualification and Market Participation for PIPE Companies program provides for half yearly courses to be run, with activities in loco and distance learning, strategic counseling meetings with executives from the Endeavor network and specific interest projects carried out jointly with postgraduate students, amongst other activities. The courses will be run by the W-Institute, a hired educational partner, responsible for the teaching staff, for the content and didactic material, and for the technological infrastructure required for distance learning. They will be carried out in 49 municipalities that house projects finance by PIPE, and the first course will have 100 participants. The three partners will make up the committees that select the companies. The technical assessment of the projects to be financed by PIPE will continue to be the exclusive responsibility of FAPESP.

The Endeavor Institute will place at the disposal of the project its network of 146 executive volunteers including presidents and senior executives of major companies, lawyers and venture investors. Furthermore, it will be responsible for the counseling sessions, will offer free places in its weekly workshops, and will grant a 25% discount to entrepreneurs supported by PIPE at its international conferences, besides accompanying and evaluating the educational activities. FAPESP will offer the infrastructure for carrying out the courses.

Sebrae-SP will bank the educational program and will include the participating entrepreneurs in the rounds of negotiations fostered by the institution aimed at the technology area, besides other tasks. The project is budgeted at R$ 808,400. The participating companies will contribute with the running costs of the program, by paying R$ 100 per entrepreneur. Sebrae-SP will finance 49% of the total cost of the project, and the Endeavor Institute and FAPESP, together, will make financial contributions corresponding to 16.91% of the project.

The project will be coordinated by a specialist contracted by Endeavor, who will be responsible for implementing the timetable of work, drawing up the communication material, operationalizing the lessons, applying the forms for assessing the project, and preparing the pre-selection interviews, amongst other activities. Once the program is concluded, the entrepreneurs will carry on taking part in discussion groups and annual meetings organized by the project’s coordinators. The expectation is that the qualification course will bring about an evolution in the indicators of income, generation of employment, and capital injections in the companies that take part in the project.