At a Glance

Location: Recife, Brazil

Impact Area: Sustainable Income

People Supported:
Women, Small Producers & Artisans, Urban

Joined NESsT Portfolio:
2014

www.biofairtrade.com.br

Overview

Despite being part of a USD$14 billion annual industry, about 8.5 million Brazilian artisans face challenges in selling and marketing their products, resulting in little income and a low quality of life.

Founded in 2007 to overcome this situation, Bio Fair Trade has become one of the most successful social enterprises in Brazil. The company buys handcrafted products from artisans at fair prices and sells them to local and international clients, providing income to hundreds of artisans each year. Bio Fair Trade also builds the business and design expertise of its artisans, helping them to tap into international trends and markets for greater reach and income. This year, Bio Fair Trade was the first Brazilian company to be certified by the World Fair Trade Organization.

Bio Fair Trade is led by co-founder Márcio Waked (L), who serves as the executive director. Waked is an experienced business leader and entrepreneur having previously founded and sold two companies in Brazil.

Bio Fair Trade is led by co-founder Márcio Waked (L), who serves as the executive director. Waked is an experienced business leader and entrepreneur having previously founded and sold two companies in Brazil.


Results & Impact 

500

artisans received income

3,000

artisans received design & business training

95%

of artisans indicated satisfaction working with Bio Fair Trade

After we started exporting the dolls we make, we didn’t need to sell door-to-door. Now we just produce, and Bio Fair Trade helps us sell. Now we have reliable income and an occupation. I buy my own clothes. I buy my own shoes. I buy food and medication. I can travel. All of this with my own money.
— Bio Fair Trade Artisan

NESsT Investment

Bio Fair Trade joined the NESsT portfolio in 2014. Bio Fair Trade entered the portfolio as a profitable business looking for ongoing investment and business development support to scale its business and increase its social impact.

NESsT has focused its support on expansion planning within Brazil, as well as connecting the company with new artisan groups and clients to meet its growth plans. NESsT's initial financial investment has been to support expansion expenses, including regular working capital needed to purchase products from artisans in advance of opening new stores or fulfilling contracts.

After securing World Fair Trade Organization certification in 2017, Bio Fair Trade now has the opportunity to significantly increase its e-commerce and international sales. The company has identified the need to build a new e-commerce platform, secure key contracts and partnerships, and build out its senior team as key to its future growth. NESsT is now assisting Bio Fair Trade with finding investors and other partners to support it goals and scale the business for greater social impact.