A portrait of social entrepreneur Ismael Ferreira from Bahia,Brazil:The Sertao in the Brazilian state of Bahia is a barren,semi-arid region. In Bahia,over 50 percent of the population live below the poverty line. Those who are able,tend to move elsewhere.
Ismael Ferreira is one of those who decided to stay in his home town of Valente. The son of a farmer,he opted to study Agriculture. Then,more than 20 years ago,he started to recultivate sisal,a plant that no one wanted to grow anymore. And yet nothing grows as well in this semi-arid region as sisal,able to survive with very little water.
Ismael Ferreira set up a kind of cooperative,which today is the biggest employer in and around Valente. A lot of the company's output is exported abroad. And that is where this company in a small town in Brazil is feeling the effects of globalization.