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Author's profile photo Susan Galer

Small Gems, Big Profits: Brazilian Artisans Market Goes Global

/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/smallsolidarium_438216.jpgFor savvy shoppers as well as gifted artisans, the Brazilian-based Solidarium online marketplace may well represent industry transformation at its best. It’s a great example of how online platforms that bring together buyers and sellers can help solve the age-old problem every small business faces:  finding time to both create and market their carefully crafted products. The mission of the online marketplace, which is supported by SAP and Endeavor as part of SAP’s Emerging Entrepreneurs Initiative (EEI), is to match local producers and artisans across Brazil with customers and major retailers worldwide.

According to Tiago Dalvi, founder and CEO of Solidarium, there are millions artisans in Brazil, many living below the poverty line. They have great products with cool designs and competitive pricing. However, they often have no idea about how to sell those products. To say that having a ready-made community of buyers is a boon for these artisans is putting it mildly. For every dollar sold, 85 percent goes directly to the artisan. Here’s an excerpt from a video in which Dalvi sums up the marketplace’s value:

“Every product that we sell generates income for these artisans. This income is converted into better services, better education, better health and housing for these communities and these people.”

Indeed, artisan Ana Carolina Bonn is very clear about how the marketplace has helped her business.

”Solidarium manages the sales of my products so I can concentrate on what I enjoy most: my handicraft, my sewing. The collaboration with Solidarium puts me in contact with clients in New York and Paris, places I never imagined I could do business with.”

Bonn typifies a growing trend. Research from Oxford Economics found that global expansion is the new imperative for Brazilian small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs). While 28 percent of Brazilian SMEs generate no revenue outside the country today, this figure drops to 20 percent in three years—a 29 percent decrease. Thirty percent of Brazilian companies say that within three years they will generate between 21 and 40 percent of their revenue globally, a 15 percent growth rate. Not surprisingly 80 percent of Brazilian companies have either completed, are in the process of, or about to begin significant business transformation.

For Dalvi, the prize is much bigger than just profits.

“The ultimate goal of Solidarium is to redefine the course of the handicraft sector in Brazil. It’s not only to work with a million artisans, but we want to be remembered as the company that redefined and changed the lives of the artisans in Brazil.”

Companies of all sizes across every geography are impacted by increasing globalization, fierce competition, empowered customers in new markets, and fast-changing technologies. With a commitment to enter new markets and willingness adopt technology innovations like Solidarium, Brazilian SMEs have never been better positioned to succeed.

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      Author's profile photo Debra Curtis-Magley
      Debra Curtis-Magley

      Great post Susan! Solidarium's story aligns with a business trend that we've been covering at Ariba for the past few years ... the Networked Economy. It's all about communities of people and businesses empowered to collaborate (and work smarter) thanks to technology and mobility.

      Thanks for sharing this story with the SCN community.

      Author's profile photo Susan Galer
      Susan Galer
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Debra,

      Thanks so much, you're very welcome. It's an exciting time for entrepreneurs with online communities like Solidarium. The networked economy is leading all of us into a new era with greater opportunities for everyone.