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Advantage program created by a Brazilian startup exchanges courses and health services for recyclable material
Startup accelerated by Braskem Labs platform has already collected more than 300 tons of recyclable material with the support of 4.5 thousand registered families in Bahia, Paraná and São Paulo
Have you thought about turning recyclable materials into vocational courses or medical services? SO+MA The first fintech in the country to merge financial benefits and attitudes that generate positive social impact, which was accelerated by the Braskem Labs platform, one of the largest entrepreneurship initiatives with a social and environmental impact in Brazil, emerged with this mission and is changing the way people relate to recycling.
The Startup, which participated in training and networking mentoring promoted in the 2019 edition of the Braskem Labs The company already has more than four thousand five hundred families registered with a benefits program that encourages recycling in Curitiba (PR), Salvador (BA) and São Paulo (SP). Furthermore, the program is in the expansion phase for Rio de Janeiro (RJ) and recently began a partnership with the city hall of São Paulo to address the importance of plastic recycling in schools in the municipal education network.
SO+MA acts as a totally free benefits program and registered people score according to the amount of recycled material donated, such as PET bottles and other plastic items, aluminum cans, iron, paper, cardboard and glass. The points, which work in the same way as mileage programs, are exchanged for various services, such as vocational courses, basic food and hygiene products currently offered by about 20 partners of SO+MA . In São Paulo’s municipal schools, points accumulated by students can also be exchanged for toys and school materials.
According to Claudia Pires, the creator of the initiative, SO+MA has already collected about 300 tons of recyclable materials. To close the cycle, the collected materials are donated to recycling cooperatives in the municipalities served by the program. “Recyclable waste is often seen as waste, as something that has no value, and our goal is to remove that stigma. From incentives such as Braskem Labs We want to overcome the challenge of changing people’s relationship with recyclable waste and show that, if disposed of correctly and recycled, they can be transformed into shoes, clothes, toys and packaging, among other items”, he highlights.
The training and opportunities generated from the participation of SO+MA on the acceleration platform Braskem Labs mainly contributed to increase the network and improve the management of the company. “In SO+MA we believe in the importance of adding knowledge to apply in our business and Braskem Labs was one of the great opportunities we found to move forward with a program that contributes to building a more sustainable world,” says Fernanda Yamasaka, Project Manager at SO+MA .
According to Fernanda, the startup is talking to businesses on the beaches along the Carioca coast, who in exchange for delivering plastic waste collected on the sand can already receive improvements in the kiosks, receiving items such as sunshades and chairs. In the city of São Paulo, SO+MA inaugurated this year a new unit in the south zone and still intends to take the actions to more public schools throughout 2020. After the Braskem Labs Startup has also gained a new partner (Faber-Castell) to offer school and artistic materials as another service to those who are registered in the benefits program.
Supporting positive impact entrepreneurship
The platform Braskem Labs was created by Braskem to support businesses that consider chemistry and/or plastic as part of the solution to social and environmental issues. Interested entrepreneurs can opt for the Scale modality, focused on startups in the traction and school phase, i.e., that are operational, have customers and billing, or for the Ignition program, which works as a pre-acceleration for those in the business model validation phase.
The programs combine training and mentoring through individual and group meetings. The selected companies participate in the acceleration for about five months and receive, among other items, business diagnosis, personalized support, access to a diverse network of Braskem executives and mentors Quintessa (partners of Braskem Labs ), networking with potential customers and strategic market partners.
The selection considers the level of innovation of the solutions presented, market potential, profile of the entrepreneur and the team involved, business model and positive socio-environmental impact – it is important that entrepreneurs are over 18 years old and willing to be present at meetings held in the city of São Paulo. The registrations for this year’s edition are open until February 26th through the website www.braskemlabs.com .