New Blueprint for Success: Micro-entrepreneurs and Cooperatives in Brazil

Dan Duncan, Southwest Center Filmmaker

Dan Duncan, a filmmaker at UA’s Southwest Center, and Marcela Vasquez, associate professor of Anthropology, produced a series of video profiles, interviews, and “day in the life” features on successful individual and collective innovative entrepreneurial ventures that build community networks; address concerns with social inequality; and maneuver through complex government regulations and uncertain marketing contexts.

Featured entrepreneurs and associations/cooperatives shared their experiences, challenges, and the key factors necessary to avoid failure in a demanding and competitive global economic environment and in the context of a highly stratified society.  The passion and commitment, without which entrepreneurial projects cannot succeed, can be best related through personal accounts and experiences. The project combined an applied anthropological perspective that highlights in-depth research to uncover key contextual socioeconomic and cultural features with a journalistic perspective in the production of digital media accessible to a wide audience. Some of these stories will provide a blueprint and inspiration for other micro-entrepreneurs and associations/cooperatives throughout Latin America and the developing world. The video documentaries are the ideal medium to bring the story of marginalized urban populations to the forefront and to demonstrate how both cooperatives and social micro-entrepreneurs can provide an opportunity for social inclusion and improvements in economic well-being.

Films include (click to watch!):

As an extension of this grant program, the grantees were able to include segments in two PBS distributed programs within the Emmy award winning series, In the Americas with David Yetman. These programs were seen by millions of PBS viewers all across the United States with 92% market penetration as well as viewed in Europe via ARTE France. 

Last updated on March 15, 2017.