Addressing Community Needs
In the municipality of Eusébio in the metropolitan area of Fortaleza, Brazil, 14 students from the MPA, MPP, MPL and IPPAM programs proposed social enterprises to serve community needs for their client Fundação Alphaville. As the foundation arm of Alphaville Urbanismo, a large real estate development company, Fundação Alphaville supports projects that promote economic self-sufficiency, environmental sustainability and a healthier society.
Working under the guidance of Professor Painter, director of the Sol Price Center for Social Innovation, the students visited several local communities, ranging from unauthorized housing to an upscale planned community built by Alphaville Urbanismo. They toured a recycling cooperative, which offered formal employment to people who were informally collecting cans and bottles from trash dumps, and more than doubled their incomes as a result. They also met stakeholders from Alphaville Urbanismo, Fundação Alphaville and the mayor’s office.
To this end, the students delivered a report and presentation centered on social enterprises, which are for-profit companies with a social mission. They described case studies of successful social enterprises and proposed ideas for Alphaville Urbanismo’s development in Eusébio including a community garden and nursery to grow local produce and native plants, a community retail hub and a social enterprise incubator.
The USC team also immersed themselves in the local culture, attending a soccer match in a former World Cup stadium and extensively touring the city.