Ivone Maria Pires da Cruz

IVLP Impact Award Project: S.E.E.D. (Skills Empowered to Entrepreneurial Development)Portugal

Ivone Maria Pires da Cruz is an entrepreneur with a mission to lead other entrepreneurs to succeed. She is a self-proclaimed organizer and moderator of professional events, and a booster of projects and talent. After years improving her skills in organization, human resources, projects and management, she felt the need to put herself to the test. She had started a new cycle of her professional life by opening LINK, the biggest coworking space of Viana do Castelo, in 2016. This space was designed to be the professional home of any person or company, national or foreign. 

As a project promoter, she supports the design and submission of applications for European Union funds from different sectors. She is currently attending a specialization course in Project Management at Tecminho (University of Minho) / Associação Portuguesa de Gestão de Projetos, aiming at International Project Management Association certification. She also has a passion for managing cultural, musical, sporty, and professional events. With LINK Cowork & Business, she believes the organization of professional events has gained more expression, with guests from different backgrounds and professional areas. Additionally, Ivone has been a speaker at several events, in the area of entrepreneurship, remote work and professional communities, as well as a trainer and mentor in this segment.

IVLP Impact Award Project: S.E.E.D. (Skills Empowered to Entrepreneurial Development)

The S.E.E.D. (Skills Empowered for Entrepreneurship and Development) project planted the seeds of entrepreneurship and leadership among socially disadvantaged youth. The project produced a creative and interactive e-book that, through storytelling, addresses resilience and persistence, a positive attitude, overcoming obstacles, achievements and failures, in a logic of empowerment and awareness.

Ivone implemented this project for 60 children from the ages of 6 to 10 years old at a school in Darque. She met with each group of children on three separate occasions to teach them about the principles of entrepreneurship and what it means to be an entrepreneur. Each meeting covered another topic related to entrepreneurship, something that the children we unfamiliar with before this project. At some of the meetings, Ivone was accompanied by a local entrepreneur that shared her own experiences as a woman entrepreneur in Portugal. By the end of the project, children were sharing ideas for their entrepreneurial ventures such as creating a machine to transform old clothes into new clothes, reducing waste, and providing protection for the body so that children do not get hurt when they fall.

Project S.E.E.D Website and E-Book

"[The impacts] will certainly be valuable and a great stimulus for positive change." - Ivone Maria Pires da Cruz

IVLP Exchange Experience 

Ivone was a participant in the IVLP Project Youth Leadership, organized by the U.S. Department of State and World Learning.

Ivone's exchange experience led her to develop her IVLP Impact Award Project; "With focus organizations in St. Louis, Teen Feed in Seattle, and Americorps in Washington D.C., I had the opportunity to wake up to the importance of the impact caused by projects aimed at suppressing the needs of underrepresented populations."

U.S. Communities Visited

Washington, DC; St. Louis, MO; Seattle, WA

Country: Portugal

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