Adel - Local Economic Development Agency

Congratulations! This Entry has been selected as a winner.

Adel - Local Economic Development Agency

Pentecoste, BrazilPentecoste, Brazil
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$250,000 - $500,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Adel is a local development agency created, founded and managed by youth from local rural communities that had the opportunity to graduate in university and then returned to their communities to invest their knowledge, skills and talents to promote local sustainable development. It is a social technology to empower and promote capacity building of young entrepreneurs.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Small farmers from Brazilian semiarid (poorest region of Northeast Brazil, 9 states, 53 million people and 1.5 million Km2) struggle with environmental challenges, lack of knowledge and inadequate tools to competitive agriculture. Without proper technologies and support, they work just with primary goods, with lower added value. The outcomes are: low productivity, quality, income and extreme poverty. Youth learn in school that the best opportunities are in the cities. Their future perspectives are to migrate as soon as they can. Adel believes that those youth are valuable human resources, with potential to become rural entrepreneurs, developing in their communities new business models.They need access to: (1) knowledge; (2) credit and (3) collaborative networks and technologies.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

To provide knowledge, Adel is building the Youth Entrepreneurship Training Center, where it will do training workshops, offer practical learning areas and laboratories. Youth will learn about efficient farming techniques, managerial tools and business and marketing planning and management. They`ll have full support to identify opportunities to build their innovative business models and plans. To provide credit, Adel launched the Vereda Fund, with three credit lines to young entrepreneurs. Adel is also designing a crowdfunding model to connect you, in partnership with successful models and organizations already working in Brazil. To provide collaborative networks and technologies, Adel is implementing Community Communications and Information Centers in communities that don’t have access to Internet or even telephone. Adel is also building a social network for young entrepreneurs, where they`ll connect themselves, exchange solutions, access e-learning and tutoring models.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

With access to knowledge, credit and collaborative networks and technologies, young rural entrepreneurs have opportunities to innovate in production chains, adding value to local goods and making family farming more competitive in regional markets. They are able to implement small agroindustries in their communities, using wisely and efficiently the natural resources, managing environmental challenges and processing raw materials and primary products that are already made by their families (for instance, to process goat meat, providing high quality meat to markets). They can also organize marketing arrangements to sell their products with more competitive and fair prices, without middlemen. Youth are empowered to take part in local governance, participating of the decision-making process in their communities, associations and in regional foruns, where strategic agendas and public policies are built. Those outcomes will impact families, raising their incomes. And will create conditions so youth will build future perspectives, staying in their communities and contributing to their development. Neto Ribeiro, 29 years old, has returned from the state capital to his home community, where he was trained by Adel, got a US$ 4,000 loan and still being supported by Adel`s team to start a poultry raising business. He had no income and today has a US$ 600 monthly income. He brought his family to work with him and is expanding his business to new areas, such as honey production and organic eggs. He is a leader, a decision-maker in his community and a role model for local youth.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Nationwide, there are organization with remarkable work on urban youth, such Itau Foundation. But just few programs are being developed in rural areas. The same thing happens with entrepreneurship – many other programs work with urban entrepreneurs. Such as Aliança Empreendedora. Adel`s program works with a specific group almost unattended: rural young entrepreneurs. All those organizations are potential partners. Other rural technical assistance programs in the region have their approaches focused just on small farmers (with no approach for youth) and with distant and bureaucratic methods - they are from governamental organizations. Adel is inspired by two organization in Latin America: Fundacion Paraguaya, from Paraguay, and PROCASUR, from Bolivia. Adel is learning from their models.

Founding Story

Adel is the outcome of the mobilization of a group of young students from rural semiarid communities in northern Ceara, which had the rare opportunity to access public university and that, after graduation, returned to their communities to invest their knowledge and skills to promote local sustainable development through capacity building and full ongoing support to family farmers and local youth. While in university, that group of young entrepreneurs, themselves, learned about cooperation, entrepreneurship and local development tools. They had, in common, the will and the vision to return to their communities and to aid their families and neighbors, that was struggling with the farming challenges in the semiarid,to enhance their small rural enterprises, to overcome endemic poverty, low income from agriculture (low productivity and profitability)and the migration of youth to larger cities.
About You
Agência Desenvolvimento Econômico Local (Adel)
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

Agência Desenvolvimento Econômico Local (Adel)

Organization Country

, CE, Pentecoste

Country where this project is creating social impact

, CE, Pentecoste

Age of Innovator


Gender of Innovator


How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

The information you provide here will be used to fill in any parts of your profile that have been left blank, such as interests, organization information, and website. No contact information will be made public. Please uncheck here if you do not want this to happen..

How long have you been in operation?

Operating for 1‐5 years

Social Impact
What solution(s) does your initiative address to help emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses grow and thrive in underserved communities? (select all applicable)

Access to financing, Access to talent, Access to supply chains, Access to technology, Access to economic opportunity.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

(1) 35 small rural businesses started and developed by 88 young entrepreneurs with Adel`s support.
(2) US$ 52,000 invested in loans to young entrepreneurs, with none default rate.
(3) Those young entrepreneurs raised in about US$500/month their income through their businesses (local average income: US$ 75).
(4) 100% of served youth still in their rural communities and have plan to develop themselves staying and working in their communities.
(5) Deployment of new agroindustrial facilities in the region and reactivation of old ones, which were abandoned - that are being developed by local young entrepreneurs.
(6) Technical, productive and commercial development of family farming businesses.
(7) 217 young entrepreneurs trained as rural entrepreneurs, to develop, manage and enhance their businesses.
(8) Added value to family farming production chains in the region.
(9) Engagement of young entrepreneurs in local associations and in participatory governance (decision making).

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

(1) Development of 70 new rural businesses by local young entrepreneurs.
(2) Development of 03 cooperative production networks in the region, by young entrepreneurs, integrating their businesses and adding value to their products.
(3) Access of local businesses to new and more profitable markets, with value added farming products, raising family farmer`s average income.
(4) Investment of US$ 235,500 on credit to young rural entrepreneurs.
(5) Knowledge sharing among young entrepreneurs through a social network, designed to connect them and to stimulate exchanging of experiences and information sharing about challenges and solutions. Such as more efficient ways to feed poultry.
(6) Access of local young entrepreneurs to 9 ICTs (information and communications tools) Centers.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

(1) Inadequate physical structure for training activities with youth. Adel is building the Young Entrepreneurs Training Center in the region, with all needed structure: classrooms, dormitories, cafeteria, computing room, library, study room and laboratories.
(2) Isolation of communities in the semiarid region where Adel is working, which don`t have access to Internet, telephones and roads are almost not accessible in some seasons of the year. Adel is implanting ICTs Center in 7 communities, with computers, telephones and antennas, so local families will have access to communications tools.
(3) High logistical costs (with fuel and vehicle maintenance). Adel is developing sustainability strategies to generate income to cover those expenses.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

Investment of US$ 65.000 on credits and capacity building to 45 young rural entrepreneurs develop their businesses.

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Consolidation and fundraising for Veredas Fund - to provide loans to young entrepeneurs' business plans in the region.

Task 2

Build the Young Entrepreneurs Training Center in the region.

Task 3

Provide training and technical assistance sections to young entrepreneurs to develop their business plans.

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Creation of a regional cooperative network of young entrepreneurs, integrating and enhancing their businesses.

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Build and implant 7 ICTs Centers in rural communities in the region and train local youth to its operation and management.

Task 2

Develop a social network software to connect young entrepreneurs among them and to connect them to their tutors to support.

Task 3

Develop a marketing strategy and operation to connect local producers with profitable markets.

Tell us about your partnerships

This program would not be possible without the partners that are engaged and dedicated to make it happen. Adel`s foundation is based on the full partnership with community-based organizations, such as farmer`s associations, cooperatives and forums, to mobilize farmers and youth and to develop social capital. So, we count with the engagement and partnership of 35 community-based organizations and two regional organizations in the region. An important partner is BNB (Bank of Northeast Brazil), which supports Adel`s mission to develop farmer`s businesses in the region.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

Adel is ready to share all the knowledge which has developed in its technology, providing orientation, training and field support to replicators. Adel understood as a priority the systematization of its technology. And believes that is a program with opportunities to replication and scaling strategies. Adel plans to integrate and connect the program to wider learning networks and platforms.


Leticia Jáuregui's picture

Amazing work! Congratulations on the Early Entrant Prize... would love to learn more about your model and share best practices. :)

Adel Ceará's picture

Learn more about Adel`s innovative approach to support a new generation of young entrepreneurs in the Brazilian semiarid.

Adel Ceará's picture

Hi Leiticia. Great hearing from you about your interest in our work. We want so much to share what we know about young entrepreneurship here in Brazil and to learn about practices from abroad, as well. Let`s make contact to see opportunities to share lessons.

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Sou Adriano Batista, Diretor de Extensão Tecnológica e Inovação do Instituto CENTEC, uma organização social que presta serviços de qualificação profissional para o governo do estado do Ceará e outras grandes corporações. Atualmente dirijo uma rede de Centros Vocacionais Tecnológicos com atuação em todo o estado do Ceará. Ante de vir para o CENTEC era Diretor Técnico da ADEL e fui um de seus fundadores e o primeiro Diretor Executivo. A ADEL é um empreendimento fantástico que encanta seus colaboradores a cada dia, seu público beneficiado e aos apoiadores. Essa instituição mudou minha vida profissional em todos os aspectos. O mais importante, porém, é que ela vem mudando a vida de muitos jovens rurais, que assim como seus fundadores, nasceram em comunidades rurais isoladas, mas que ao se defrontarem com uma oportunidade de adquirir conhecimento e aplicá-lo em seu benefício, mudaram o curso de suas vidas. Voto na ADEL por tudo isso, e pelo impacto que sua tecnologia social pode causar na vida de jovens como, Neto Ribeiro, Mailson e Aparecida, dentre outro jovens que estão empreendendo no semiárido cearense. Sou prova viva do potencial que essa juventude possui e do diferencial que a tecnologia social da ADEL tem em transforma jovem simples em bons empreendedores. Parabéns ao Wagner e todos que fazem a ADEL.

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