"Ciclo Brilhante has given me the skills & strength to run my own business."

Ana Gallo

Brazilian jewel helps female entrepreneurs to shine while building brand equity

In a nutshell

Unilever Brazil is helping a growing number of female entrepreneurs to realise their dreams with a unique programme that is also boosting sales of its popular laundry detergent brand, Brilhante. Projeto Ciclo Brilhante is a free programme for women in Brazil who want to start their own business but feel they lack the skills, support or confidence needed to succeed. The initiative reached 180,000 women directly by the end of 2016 and is growing even more.

What’s the issue?

Gender inequality in the workplace holds women back and stops them from realising their full potential. What’s more, many women lack the skills and the confidence to start and run their own businesses and find it challenging to balance running a home with running a business. They also lack time and money.

Unilever is committed to empowering five million women worldwide by 2020 as part of its Sustainable Living Plan. Our brand Brilhante is an important part of this commitment and is standing behind go-getting, confident and bright women who want to create a bright future for themselves, their families and other women.

Brilhante is helping to develop talented women in Brazil by providing them with access to education and the support needed to enhance their skills, accomplish their personal and professional goals and improve their income potential.

What’s the story?

The free Projeto Ciclo Brilhante programme has three phases designed to fit around women’s busy lifestyles via quick, online learning sessions. They’ve been developed in partnership with two national NGOs – Escola de Você and Aliança Empreendedora – and two leading female Brazilian journalists.

The three phases of the programme are:

  1. Escola de Você – “School of You” – a three-month programme with online daily classes designed to build confidence through self-awareness and empowerment.
  2. Escola Brilhante – a one-month entrepreneurship programme, designed to build business skills and acumen.
  3. Hora de Brilhar – “Time to shine” – a programme of real-life mentorship for established businesses run by women, which are designed to showcase successful female entrepreneurs.

What are the outcomes and impact?

Launched in 2015, 60,000 Brazilian women have registered for the programme so far. Some 5,400 have completed the first cycle, while a further 7,400 have completed the second. The top three participants in the third cycle each received 7,000 Brazilian Reals to invest in their businesses and support their growth.

For the brand, the project reinforced the perception that Brilhante understands its consumers: ‘brings out my shine’: +72%, ‘makes me business-ready’: +118%. But it also achieved its aim – a huge uplift in sales and market share.

What are the future plans?

The programme will have reached 180,000 women directly by the end of 2016 and will grow from there.

In Summary

Antonio Calcagnotto, Head Communications and Corporate Affairs at Unilever Brazil, says: “Brilhante is proud to have created and to provide ongoing support for this practical programme, designed to enable women to shape their own business destiny. And – of course – to shine as entrepreneurs.”

Please contact for more info Antonio Calcagnotto – Antonio.calcagnotto@unilever.com

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