Leadership & People
Impactful stories
December 13, 2020

It is remarkable to witness the ecosystem emergence and growth at Nova SBE

The year 2020 changed everything very fast. Suddenly, the whole world was facing a deadly pandemic and a devastating recession. The consequences were severe. We witnessed an increase in death, poverty, unemployment, isolation, sickness and inequalities.

These events forced us to stop and changed our focus.

More people started asking questions on different topics and thinking more deeply about how we could ensure health and well-being, prevent climate change and consequences, reduce inequalities, build racial justice, sustain the economy, and protect employment.

More people, companies, organizations, and institutions realized we should all work together and use our time, skills, capital, knowledge, networks, and resources to achieve a better and more sustainable future. As Nova SBE declared beautifully, we all have a role to play.

When I started my studies in Economics in 2006 I knew that I wanted to have a role in creating a better world and I thought Economics would give me the perfect tools to do that. I still think that, and this year's events have profoundly reinforced it. For a long time, I felt isolated in this mission that required the participation of all.

Having the aspiration of a purpose-driven career was uncommon and not particularly well seen at Nova SBE when I was a student. The majority of the students were more focused on a path motivated by status and money. And there were no career opportunities in the middle. After university, my first job was for an NGO, I remember feeling upset since people often asked me if that was a "really a job" or "just volunteering."

Fortunately, hings have changed over the past few years.

I am proud of all the different opportunities I had to create a positive impact. I have contributed to professionalize the social sector, shared knowledge on social entrepreneurship and lived in a developing country while working for an NGO.  Then, as a consultant, I have learned how the corporate world works and dedicated my time to projects that create change inside big companies in areas like sustainability, social innovation, corporate social responsibility, stakeholder's engagement, or social business. In the last few years, I have been managing and further the growth of a social enterprise in the field of responsible tourism and hospitality. I am now leaving my role as Director for Impact House and starting a new professional adventure, in the impact sector, of course!

It is remarkable to witness the ecosystem emergence and growth: professional and financially sustainable NGO, social enterprises, incubators and accelerator for sustainability and social impact projects, impact investment funds, corporate social responsibility departments, sustainability consultancy and a shift from philanthropy to responsible business are now a reality in Portugal. There is now a growing number of possibilities for people that, like me, want their professional life to have a positive impact.

NovaSBE is both a reflection and a catalyzer of this change. It is a delight for me to see in the master's in Economics courses like Economics of Poverty or Sustainable Finance; that there are student's Clubs like Green Nova, NovaSocial Consulting or Nova Women in Business; that Nova SBE is involved in projects to help the portuguese social sector to thrive like Social Equity Initiative and Social Leapfrog Program; and that has research centers on Environmental Economics and Leadership for Impact.

Align with initiatives like these, Nova SBE sends a clear message to its community stating that we all have a role to play to build a better and more sustainable world, so obvious and at the same time so relevant in a year like 2020.

Mariana Teixeira

Alumna'12. Mariana became a keen problem solver thanks to her work experience in sustainability and corporate social responsibility consultancy, dedication to the growth of a social enterprise startup, management of challenges in both the private and social sectors, a master's degree in development economics, a lot of volunteering hours and many adventures as a solo traveler.

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