Social entrepreneurship – that was the theme of the night for a talk organized by BrazilFoundation on Thursday in Rio de Janeiro. Held at the residence of BrazilFoundation founder Leona Forman, partners and supporters came together to hear from two prominent social leaders: Anderson France, “Dinho”, of Universidade da Correria, and Rene Silva, of the newspaper Voz da Comunidade. Both leaders shared their experiences in heading initiatives that are giving a new direction to entrepreneurship and providing opportunities for youth in Brazil.

Dinho’s creative and entrepreneurial leadership helps to connect people and encourages innovation to combat social issues. Dinho founded Universidade da Correria in 2011, which is dedicated to supporting small entrepreneurs and to sharing knowledge on business development, corporate business and more. “Youth from the favela are capable of producing more than just art, culture and sports; they are also capable entrepreneurs, and that’s where UniCorre comes in.”

Rene Silva created the newspaper Voz da Comunidade at age 11, when he dreamed of becoming a journalist. “I saw that the journalists covering the favelas would only talk about death and shooting, and would never talk about social problems.” His innovative newspaper gave visibility to thousands from the Complexo do Alemão, in Rio de Janeiro. Today, at age 20, Rene is a reference in social inclusion for his use of social media. “I believe that young people today have a lot of power, and I believe that we need to invest more and more in them, and empower their ideals and ideas.”

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