The Adventure of Entrepreneurship. A trip around the world. The Portuguese have displayed an entrepreneurial spirit throughout their history. When we had no extensive knowledge of the Atlantic Ocean, they embarked into the great unkonwn. That spirit of adventure is precisely the object of this article written by André Leonardo, a Portuguese youth who, tired of the economic and social situation in his country, undertook a journey to learn about the stories of entrepreneurs around the world and tell them.
After one year compiling information and interviewing people, the English translation of his particular account will see the light in October. The book summarises 16 moving stories from the 143 people he interviewed. When asked about which story he found most motivating, Leonardo clearly points to the one about Ricardo Teixeira. He became quadriplegic as a teenager. This did not prevent him from making an effort and working for a multinational company like Microsoft. Today, aged 39 and after leaving Microsoft, he runs six companies dedicated to digital operations, as mentioned in El Confidencial.
“Look at this wheelchair. Then look at me. This is not an excuse for anything. I have all your day-to-day problems plus my physical issues. My parents couldn’t provide for me; they are not rich. I had to make use of all my strength and take a chance, struggle and get things done. And I did it”. Teixeira says: “Your generation wants instant solutions. If you do not make an effort, things will not happen” “I see him as an entrepreneur in his business but also in his life”, says Leonardo in his book.
The author of this journey managed to fund this adventure by selling personal items, looking for sponsors among companies and foundations and setting up a funding campaign. He visited places and new companies that inspired him. As in India, for example, where he witnessed the setting up of a company dedicated to finding housing. The purpose of the company, Housing, was to eliminate any abuse from agents and avoid false descriptions of properties. Advitiya Sharma along with eleven university friends decided to embark on this project to offer an alternative to a growing demand. “When you look around you and you see very intelligent people, everything is possible”, he told Leornardo.
On returning to Portugal, he followed in the footsteps of the people he had met on his trip and set up a company to motivate young people to become entrepreneurs and to help foreigners who want to open a business to get started. Leonardo would not hesitate to repeat the experience. “It was spectacular, not only what I learned, but everything I brought to the people because I brought back very inspiring stories”.