When small business owners blend personal passion, distinctive products and good business sense, they build meaningful brands that generate success. This is the case for Incausa, created in 2012 by owner Vinicius Vieira de Vieira and his wife, Carolina. Natives of Brazil, they shared a vision of creating a company that benefits the common good – one that’s financially viable for them and their employees, and that gives back by selling indigenous-made goods.
As a social-enterprise company, Incausa is both for-profit through sales of its Incausa-branded luxury goods, and a not-for-profit, returning 100% of proceeds from sales of indigenous-made items back to the artisans. Its well-curated product lines feature self-branded items including fine soaps and skin oils and handcrafted wares by artisans in Brazil, Peru, Nepal, Chile, and the U.S. Its focus on “doing well through doing good” has fueled growth; however, a lack of capital was holding the business back, and Vinicius considered selling off a significant segment of the company to raise funds.
“Incausa’s based on ideology, on creating a platform to help indigenous people. Our growth potential is incredible,” shares Vinicius but, as he explains, they needed funds to order products well in advance as handmade goods from indigenous artisans around the world typically require a longer lead time.
Fortunately, Carolina learned about securing working capital at a small business finance class presented by Pursuit in New York City. While at the event, she met a loan officer from Pursuit who provided her with information about several financing options that they offer for small businesses.
As a result, Incausa secured $50,000 in working capital in less than five days through a Pursuit Smartloan, and Vinicius and Carolina have retained full control of their business and their vision. Today, Incausa’s products are found online through its Brooklyn-based e-commerce store and at more than 500 U.S. retailers.
“It’s exciting to think about all of the possibilities this loan has opened up for us,” says Vinicius. Someday, they’d like to have a brick-and-mortar shop – currently, Incausa’s headquartered out of their apartment – and hire more employees from the refugee community to join the four already assisting with the business. Pursuit is thrilled for the opportunity to help Incausa and people around the world who benefit from its success.