Entrepreneurial couple goes via a pandemic and advances in a small enterprise
Setting up your own business and making it prosper is not an easy task, it requires investment, courage, planning and also a little luck. Thinking about realizing the dream of having his own private gym, muay thai teacher Vinicius Antônio, 33 years old, decided to face the challenge even without having experience with entrepreneurship and with few financial resources.
One of the motivations, according to him, was the difficulty in getting paid for the classes given at the academy where he worked. “My wife, Andressa, and I sat at the table and put all the expenses on paper. We initially decided to invest in the purchase of equipment. But the main thing was still missing, which was the payment for the space. With a small amount received from a gambling game, we paid the rent, painted the gym and started our business.”
A year after the opening of the academy, with the demand for students growing every day, Vinicius and Andressa faced a new challenge: the need to expand the space and set up a store next door, but it was not enough and they decided to go to a larger and more airy place. The business was thriving, but the global crisis generated by the coronavirus pandemic, which would affect mainly small entrepreneurs, undermined the plans.
Like many people from Sergipe – and entrepreneurs around the world – Vinicius and Andessa faced enormous difficulties with the reduction of the gym’s revenue due to the mandatory closure of businesses and the suspension of face-to-face classes. “We had to innovate, we started selling gel alcohol and masks in front of the gym to earn extra income. With the amount received from emergency aid, we invested in pizzas and sales exploded. With that, we managed to keep the gym open and working in the same place”, says the professor.
Inestimable support – During this trajectory, which has lasted almost five years, the help of friends was essential to keep the business running. One such support has come from federal deputy and Senate pre-candidate Laércio Oliveira (PP). According to Andressa, in 2018, the parliamentarian got to know the social project that offers free classes to students from the community’s public network who are unable to pay for the gym, and since then he has embraced the cause.
“It was love at first sight. Deputy Láercio hugged us like a real father. Laércio spares no effort, he listens and not all politicians like to do this or even have the patience. Many only look at their own navel, but Laércio is not just a politician, he is a human being who sees others as his image and likeness of God”, pointed out Andressa.