Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul







Entrepreneurship: Project MUDA encourages leadership of low-income young people

Proposal will work with teenagers in public High Schools and was the winner of the 2019 Torneio Empreendedor

12/02/2020 - 14h27

João Severo at the Entrepreneurship Tournament / Photo: Personal archive

Offering development opportunities, career guidance and providing a space of self-knowledge for teenagers in public high schools. These are the objectives of Project  MUDA, conceived by João Vitor Severo, a student of the 6th semester of  Business Administration: Innovation and Entrepreneurship at PUCRS Business School. “Opportunities are generally scarce for young people in public schools. However, when a chance comes up, they often grasp it so enthusiastically that they stand out. Thus, I see MUDA as a possibility to identify talents, showing teenagers that they can have dreams and offering an environment for reflection and life planning”, Severo emphasizes.

The idea was the great winner of the 2019 Torneio Empreendedor (Entrepreneurship Tournament), organized by the PUCRS Interdisciplinary Lab for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Idear). During the Tournament, participants were encouraged to develop social impact projects, receiving the support of Idear’s partner mentors. For Severo, the entrepreneurial environment was essential to advance in the construction of MUDA. “The Tournament makes us think, through various modeling tools, on the various points that are necessary to transform an idea into a business that comes off the paper and actually works,” he says. At the end of the mentoring sessions, the teams presented their projects on the  Pitch Day, held in November.

Leadership that creates opportunities

MUDA will work within schools in four modules, with dynamics that seek to encourage students to actively participate in the construction of knowledge as well. “In the first module, we will try to establish links with students so that they can see themselves as leaders. In parallel, we will assist in the development of entrepreneurial skills such as teamwork, leadership and public speaking. We want them to get to know each other, know where they want to go and build paths with purpose ”, says the founder of MUDA.

Severo also points out that, in the following modules, the activities will deepen themes focused on self-knowledge, career planning and financial education. “During the creation of the project, we carried out a study that pointed to the importance of bringing knowledge on finance to these young people. This is one of the themes that generate the most impact for their future”, he says.

The MUDA pilot project will be tested in March 2020 and the proposal is that its activities will take place over four weeks, with one module covered per week. The project will be monetized through partnerships with companies.

Entrepreneurship as part of academic training

In addition to participating in Torneio Empreendedor, Severo points out that the University’s structure contributes to the development of actions in innovation and business creation. “Throughout my career at PUCRS, I have met professors who are helping a lot for the growth of MUDA, offering encouragement and tips. In addition, the Campus enables an exchange of experiences with students from other courses, which is essential to look at the possibilities from different angles”, he stresses.

In December, members of the top four projects in the tournament visited Google’s headquarters in São Paulo. The visit is part of the event’s awards, which also includes mentoring in the Rocket program, Tecnopuc Fablab consultants and participation in the selection for the Startup Garage. “This experience helped show that there are no boundaries and that there are countless potential paths. In the beginning of 2019, I had an idea that was archived, but months after winning Torneio Empreendedor and experiencing all that, I realized that it is worth continuing to dedicate myself to what I believe in”, adds Severo.