June 16, 2014 - 12:00am
What happens when a Frontier Market Scout meets the World Cup?
You get a social venture like Favela Experience – founded by Elliot Rosenberg, who holds a certificate in Social Enterprise and Impact Investing from the Monterey Institute’s Frontier Market Scouts (FMS) program – which connects the people of the favelas of Rio with World Cup fans seeking an authentic Brazilian experience and safe, affordable accommodations. Favela is the Portuguese word for slum.
“I am a huge proponent of FMS as it laid the foundation for the connections I needed to make to launch my enterprise,” says Elliot, who worked with Village Capital in Rio as part of his FMS placement in Brazil. Describing his venture, he says: “We’re like Airbnb for Rio’s favelas -- and eventually the rest of the world!”
Affordable accommodations are hard to come by in Rio de Janiero these days as fans from around the globe assemble for one of the world’s most popular sporting events. Soaring hotel rates have logically led many inhabitants of Rio to explore the option of renting out part or all of their homes. The people of the favelas are no exception and Elliot’s social venture is helping to broker safe transactions for all. Favela Experience only operates in favelas with permanent police units, and hosts are recruited through trusted personal networks.
Elliot and Favela Experience have been featured in national and international media leading up to the World Cup, including the Christian Science Monitor, NPR, International Business Times, and the Guardian. He says none of this would have been possible without his incredible FMS advisors and the people he met because of his placement in Brazil. He has this message for Dean Yuwei Shi and other leaders of the program: “You are doing life-changing work for the Scouts, entrepreneurs and their beneficiaries, so I thank you for everything!”