Supporting female entrepreneurs in a time of crisis

Airfox is enabling the transfer of R$1 million to 2,000 women

3 min readApr 20, 2020

We’re proud to be working with the Casas Bahia Foundation to operationalize their Fundo Emergencial Mulher Empreendedora (Entrepreneurial Women Emergency Fund) initiative.

The initiative involves the donation of R$1 million to 2,000 women who live and work on their own in the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Airfox’s banQi app will facilitate this large financial operation — enabling the transfer of R$500 to each female entrepreneur.

Airfox and the Casas Bahia Foundation are working together to fund female entrepreneurs.

Innovating to support communities

Small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs are among the most affected in this global pandemic. To support the most vulnerable and to strengthen Brazilan communities, the Casas Bahia Foundation is utilizing our banQi app to financially benefit female entrepreneurs impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

“banQi’s main mission is to make social, economic, and digital inclusion possible for the low-income population. In this moment of crisis, we are happy to make this technology available to the Casas Bahia Foundation to help women entrepreneurs,” said André Calabró, Via Varejo’s financial director.

Woman holding up phone with banQi

The initiative is also in partnership with Aliança Empreendedora (Entrepreneurial Alliance), an organization that supports companies, social organizations, and governments in the development of inclusive business models and projects to support low-income micro-entrepreneurs.

The Entrepreneurial Alliance will assist in finding the 2,000 female entrepreneurs and managing the educational aspect of the initiative. Those selected to receive aid will be asked to create a banQi account so that funds can be directly transferred. By utilizing remote banking, the women can receive financial aid while minimizing travel and physical interaction.

“We believe that direct resource transfer initiatives such as that of the Casas Bahia Foundation, are extremely innovative and necessary for women entrepreneurs in the community,” said Helena Casanovas Viera, president of the Entrepreneurial Alliance.

The Entrepreneurial Women Emergency Fund

Responsible for the social investment of Via Varejo, the Casas Bahia Foundation aims to strengthen communities and believes in empowering a world where everyone has the opportunity and the freedom to be everything they can be.

By establishing the Entrepreneurial Women Emergency Fund, the Casas Bahia Foundation promotes the training and strengthening of the local businesses and business owners in the peripheries. The Entrepreneurial Women Emergency Fund aims to support female micro-entrepreneurs from communities in the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, including municipalities in the region’s metropolitan areas.

Female entrepreneurs

In addition to R$500, each woman will receive financial training, consisting of five video classes. These classes will provide tips on how to deal with fear, how to be creative and reinvent a business, the importance of solidarity, and financial education guidelines.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic, we have to support the most vulnerable people, who tend to be more impacted from an economic point of view. This initiative, in addition to the donation of resources itself, provides training so that the beneficiaries can be prepared for this journey,” said Hélio Muniz, director of corporate communication, sustainability and diversity and institutional relations and CEO of the Casas Bahia Foundation.

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