Henrique Bussacos has been a changemaker all his life. From growing up in Brazil to consulting with large companies to nurturing the growth of Impact Hub, he’s been building a better world all his life. Now the newly elected Board Chair of ANDE Brazil, we sat down with Henrique to get to know him a bit better…
Tell us about yourself…
I was born in São Paulo, and have been living in Florianópolis for the past 7 years. Here, I’ve been working for Impact Hub São Paulo and the global team on partnerships in Latin America.
When did you first become interested in social entrepreneurship?
After working in a consulting company where I was trying to help large corporations to be more sustainable, I decided that I wanted to start businesses with an impact DNA from the very beginning. That’s when I started a social business and co-founded Impact Hub São Paulo between 2006 and 2007.
What drew you to Impact Hub?
I met Maria Glauser (Impact Hub’s first ever host in Impact Hub Islington) and Pablo Handl (my co-founder at Impact Hub São Paulo) at a friend’s party at the beginning of 2006. It was here that Maria presented us with some pictures and told us the story of Impact Hub Islington. I got excited about it, and in June 2006 I visited Impact Hub (The Hub at that time) in London. As soon as I got back to Brazil started to work with Pablo to make Impact Hub São Paulo happen.
Walk us through your journey with Impact Hub over the years…
Well, it has been quite a long journey! So after Impact Hub started in São Paulo, we supported new Impact Hub initiatives in Brazil and elsewhere, since there was only Islington and São Paulo then (Amsterdam was about to start). There was a lot to be done.
In 2010, when we had grown more, I was in the meetings where we started designing the two global entities (the Association and the Company). Later on I served as chair of the Board for three years (2012 – 2014), and in 2016 I started working on business development for Latin America.
In 2015 I co-founded Impact Hub Floripa with Gabriela Werner and supported Marcus Bessa and Juliana Telles to start Impact Hub Manaus. I worked in the Seed Program in Africa to support the opening of new Impact Hubs and also supported some Impact Hubs as an onboarding coach. From 2018 onwards I’ve been focusing on business development for Latin America and São Paulo partnerships.
What’s been your biggest challenge & proudest achievement to date?
Taking care of my two children, Theo and Sophia, is probably the biggest real challenge and what I definitely feel more proud about.
What can you tell us about the social entrepreneurship scene in Latin America right now?
In the past years it has evolved significantly and contributed to taking many people out of poverty. Now, new challenges are arising; like promoting democracy (Venezuela is the extreme case as our dear friend, co-founder and Director of Impact Hub Caracas, Claudia Valladares knows, but many others have its democracy institutions at risk) and working on gender equality.