Credit and training programs promote economic recovery in Fortaleza

Sewing course classroom, students sit at tables with sewing machines
In addition to directed credit, the city also provides opportunities for vocational qualification and training, providing economic and social development (Photo: Rodrigo Carvalho)

Fortaleza was restoring its economy with an emphasis on the productive integration of the city’s population. There are three targeted credit programs in place and two training programs to promote the growth of micro-entrepreneurs in the capital. At least 78,000 people must benefit from initiatives such as Nossas Guerreiras, Mulher Empreendedora, Meu Bairro Empreendedor, Fortaleza Capacita and Fortaleza + Futuro.

To encourage women’s entrepreneurship and small business development in the city, the city of Fortaleza launched the municipality’s largest popular credit program: Nossas Guerreiras. In partnership with the state government, the program provides a target credit of R$3,000 to up to 17,000 low-income women, over the age of 18, who primarily want to sponsor a family. By the end of the programme, 30,000 women will be eligible for the Business Proposal Preparation course.

The program, which was launched in October 2021, has already benefited 347 women with a credit of R$3,000 and has trained more than 4807 thousand combatants through the “Business Proposal Preparation” course, making them able to obtain targeted financing. Beneficiaries have a grace period of six months and can make the payment within 30 months without interest. 1,028,191.18 Rls have already been invested.

“In this post-pandemic moment, these projects are vital. Providing training, granting credit and monitoring. Additionally, technical training is important in this context of recovery. Teaching unemployed professionals to get a new job, such as sewing, gastronomy and computing, so that they can from re-entering the labor market in the best possible way”, confirms Secretary Rodrigo Nogueira, Head of the Municipal Secretariat for Economic Development.

Since 2018, the Mulher Empreendedora project has already benefited about 150 women-run enterprises. The project is in its third edition and aims to benefit up to 70 companies. Of this total, 45 projects have already been granted the first installment of directed credit in the amount of R$15,000, in addition to receiving training and consulting services free of charge. Beneficiaries must return only 60% of the required amount, in installments of up to 15, without interest and a grace period of six months to start payment.

Focusing on local development actions, preferably in neighborhoods with a low HDI, Meu Bairro Empreendedor has also started paying early adopters. The initiative was launched in 2020 and received 1,435 commercial proposals. The top 500 project proposals were qualified, with the aim of encouraging creation or expansion through the award of directed credit. Of this total, 26 have been disbursed. The measure provides financing of up to R$2.5 million for small entrepreneurs with a focus on those in areas of vulnerability. These are credits of up to R$5,000.

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In addition to directed credit, the city also provides opportunities for vocational qualification and training, providing economic and social development. The Fortaleza Capacita Program is the result of a technical cooperation agreement between Fortaleza City Hall and Sebrae, lasting 12 months. Since its launch in June 2021, the program has qualified more than 10,000 people in areas such as marketing, finance, planning, sales and business plan writing. The courses are completely free and have a workload of 8-12 hours, with the right to certification. By the end of the year, the idea is to qualify more than 40,000 entrepreneurs from Fortaleza.

Fortaleza + Futuro, launched this year, is a partnership with the System of the Federation of Industries State of Ceará (Fiec), through the National Service for Industrial Learning (Senai Ceará). In this first phase, 270 people will be qualified for the labor market in courses such as: management techniques. Basic Excellence Basic Computing Regional Candy Party Snacks Cut and Sew Women’s Knitwear. In all, 6,265 places are offered free of charge for 41 courses divided into areas such as technology, gastronomy, fashion, environment, management and creative economics.