The Micro Rainbow Brazil Project maintains regular contact with present and former beneficiaries. As well as keeping in touch via Facebook, WhatsApp or telephone, we hold meetings where former students talk about what they are doing and the challenges they are facing. This allows beneficiaries’ direct participation in MRI’s planning. In December 2017 we held a meeting with former students. One of the challenges to business growth they highlighted was a lack of knowledge of online marketing and sales tools.
Faced with the advance of conservatism in our society, Felipe Nyland, a great Digital Marketing professional, was looking for an organisation with which he could volunteer, sharing his knowledge in order to strengthen the struggle of his peers. It was fortunate that he contacted MRI Brazil at the same time as beneficiaries were looking for support from someone just like him. Felipe’s wide experience of the subject allowed the creation of a Digital Marketing intensive course for LGBTI entrepreneurs, which contained all the main tools to leverage business using the internet.
As this course was not foreseen as part of the Micro Rainbow Brazil Project, no funding was available for its implementation. The search for a free venue was met by CIEDS – Integrated Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Programs. They offered a classroom together with all the needed resources. This partner was extremely generous, given that the course schedule (7:00 pm to 10:30 pm) required the presence of a CIEDS employee outside the usual work shift. In the end, this employee also attended the course as a student.
Participants were recruited exclusively from current and former students of MRI’s entrepreneurship courses for low-income LGBTI. Registrations opened in March and 41 people enrolled, which surpassed expectations. However, the restriction for MRI’s beneficiaries of evening classes in the city centre meant that in the end there was an average of 20 to 30 participants per class.
Content and learning
The course was held over 4 weeks in April and covered a wide range of topics.
The teacher developed an exclusive methodology and training material for MRI’s students. Throughout the course, they learned about valuable tools for reviewing and structuring their marketing strategies and further developing their business. Although the course finished quite recently, the results can already be observed, as shown by the following testimonies:
“The course was very rich, all its content. It is very clear for me the increase of views, access, and demand for my service. I haven’t been able to finish some parts yet, but it has already changed my life. Now for me everything is Marketing. It’s being enriching for me to work with this new perspective.”
Pam Mariano, Tui Na therapist – 4th entrepreneurship class
“It was fantastic to participate in the digital marketing training. Thanks to this course, I was able to develop several tools capable of increasing the presence of Perfumadinho Cosméticos on the Internet. And best part was having access to this excellent knowledge for free. With each passing day, I see that the best way to end social inequalities is through education and entrepreneurship.”
Roberto Jr., Perfumadinho Cosméticos – 3rd entrepreneurship class
The implementation of this course was the result of the partnership between Micro Rainbow International, the teacher Felipe Nyland – who voluntarily offered his time and shared his knowledge, and CIEDS, which contributed the venue and essential resources. MRI is extremely grateful to everyone who was involved and was very happy to see the commitment of all students who, realizing the importance and usefulness of the course for their own businesses, overcame the challenge of attending evening classes in the city centre. MRI believes that knowledge of the right tools can change lives. We are seeing this result in practice with the success of the entrepreneurs who graduated from this course!