April 12, 2021

Given the Tools, They Found Their Paths


Tools and PathsAn entrepreneurial program aimed at generating employment, income and independence for socially and economically disadvantaged women living near our Alumar facility in São Luís, Brazil, was a thing of beauty.

Funded by Instituto Alcoa, the Tools and Paths program provided two months of free cosmetology training and five weeks of supervision and mentorship to 143 women dealing with poverty, unemployment, domestic violence or other socio-economic issues. Approximately 35 percent of participants had no source of income, and some were homeless.

The program, which was an initiative of the Instituto de Cidadania Empresarial do Maranhão (Maranhão Business Citizenship Institute), provided theoretical and practical training covering hair blowouts, eyebrow design, waxing, manicures and pedicures. Upon completion, participants received a certification and entrepreneurial kit that included a hairdryer, flat iron and other tools to establish a business. Our Alumar facility also provided remote workshops on business management and entrepreneurship for the graduates.

Tools and Paths 2
Nildilene Lindoso

“I always liked the beauty field, but I didn’t have the money to take a professional course,” said Nildilene Lindoso, a program graduate. “When I heard about the Tools and Paths program, I was unemployed and clinging to any opportunity.”

After finishing the training and receiving her kit, Nildilene began seeing clients at the home she shares with her family. In late 2020, she became a partner in a salon owned by a friend while still maintaining her own client base.

“In addition to contributing to my family’s household expenses, I feel happier and more satisfied because I have my profession and I’m building my business little by little,” said Nildilene.