These Brazilian Entrepreneuses Have Trade in Their Genes

Rose Koraicho When you meet them at a dinner or social event, you imagine that they are simply pretty, well educated women. If you meet them in the company of their children, then, maybe, you will find that care for their kids is the main activity of their lives, so great is the dedication.

But if you telephone their homes on a Tuesday, in the mid morning, you will discover that they woke up early, left home a few hours ago, and are already in a business meeting, on a phone call to a supplier or closing a sale.

They were the generation of women of Arab origin that helped the Brazilian economy to move. Most grew seeing their parents build their great or small fortunes, hearing stories of their grandparents who arrived on ships from Syria and Lebanon, with not a penny to their names, and became traveling salesmen until they had some money stored away.

They do have their husbands and children. And they are dedicated to them. But spending their whole day at home is an idea that is not under consideration for these women. What they really like is to do business.

They are women like Andrea Kurbhi, Roberta Nahas, Rose Koraicho and others with anonymous faces and surnames like Chohfi, Jafet, Nasser, Abdouni. Rose Koraicho, for example, heads company Koema, one of the most important real estate companies in the country, which she established.

Entering the business world was almost a question of stubbornness to the granddaughters of Syrians. "I was educated to become a housewife," she explained. At the age of 28, however, having been married since the age of 19 and a mother from the age of 20, she decided to turn her life around.

Much to her father's displeasure, she started working at Marverich, a company he had for administering his own assets. "I had to show that my intention of following a career was true. I started reading several books about the real estate sector, the civil code, and the housing law, and I took many courses. Little by little I found my space in the company and my father's trust," pointed out Rose.

Seeing life moving by her window seemed hard for the girl whose grandfather on her father's side had been a chariot driver and traveling salesman, whose father had produced suspenders, run a dry good shop and managed a real estate agency.

When her father died, in 1996, Rose opened Koema. The granddaughter of Arabs stated that it was not easy to enter the business world. "In the beginning I was seen as the heiress who was playing at doing business. As time went by, with the Koema results, its projects and the awards, I was accepted by the Men's Club," she said. In 2005, Rose won the Entrepreneur of the Year Award granted by consultancy company Ernest & Young.

She defines herself as a businesswoman who is involved and dedicated to the business. "I like taking care of the whole and also of the details, which are what, in my opinion, make the difference. Apart from that, I try to conciliate my work with my family life. Despite having three adult offspring, family life is still fundamental for us," she says.

"But I try not to exceed rational limits. I unfortunately closely experienced the four heart attacks my father had, the first at the age of 40, due to his total devotion to work."

Roberta Nahas was also greatly influenced by her family's activities to become an entrepreneur. She and Andrea Kurbhi own Spezzato, a renowned Brazilian women's fashion brand. Both of their families, which are related, operate in trade.

"I was brought up in the shop. I left school and went to the shop. I went there to kiss my mother. At Christmas I helped at the shop. I have always been involved in this environment of trade and fashion," she explained. At the age of 17, Roberta started working in the family clothes store.

She mirrored other women in different generations of her family, as both her mother, Arlete Chammas Salum, and her grandmother, Ilva Salim Nahas, worked and work in trade. Thus, when she was still an adolescent, Roberta, who is now 37 years old, decided to start her own business.

She and Andrea opened Spezzato. They noticed that some kinds of clothes were lacking on the market and started making them. First they sold at the family shop, and then they started offering the product to other stores.

Spezzato is now a renowned brand with its own shops. Roberta is currently responsible for the area of creation, whereas Andrea operates in the administrative and trade sector.

"I did not go to college to work in creation, I learnt in life," said Roberta. Andrea explained that the start of business was not easy. Her taste for trade, however, helped the woman of Lebanese descent to carry on with the brand. "Trade is born from people. Those who like selling, really like it," said Andrea.

Andrea's maternal and paternal grandparents came from Lebanon. She saw her grandparents working in trade, as did her mother and father. Andrea's father, Fuad Chammas, dedicated himself to medicine as soon as he had an opportunity, as a cardiologist.

"He worked in my grandfather's fabric store, on 25 de Março street, but he loved medicine, he worked behind the counter while studying medicine," pointed out Andrea. She believes that her passion for sales was inherited from her father and mother, who were also very passionate about their professions.



  • Show Comments (15)


    Additional (previous) remark (from elsewhere) attempting to explain CH-C position vis-ÀƒÂ -vis his SWISS background
    Because ch.c is a native from Switzerland, he is unquestionably qualified to provide his very unique perspective on “cheaters”

    Considering all the gold Switzerland stole from the Jews (most of whom they quietly sent back across the border to Nazi Germany for “re-settlement) and…
    Considering the attitude of Swiss banks vis-ÀƒÂ -vis the way they welcome, encourage and handle embezzled money from rich Third world foreigners (who, by the way, are THE ONLY type third world foreigners which that country tolerates while the others are either imprisoned or expelled)… it’s not at all surprising that a “Good Swiss” member or the À¢€œgood-old-Swiss-BoyÀ¢€™ network, who is so knowledgeable on the economy, would be particularly empowered to make such remarks.


    Repeating previous comment – at a separate section – attempting to explain CH-C disqualified HATRED for BRAZIL
    A brief note to George (and for all others who are familiar with this blog)
    It must be noted that, REGARDLESS of the subject and/or nature of any Brazil related issue reported by here, and it surely without ANY consideration whatsoever for whether such information conveys positive or negative news about any recent development (especially if it touches the economy), the infamous ch-c will surely À¢€œshow upÀ¢€Â in order to provide his valiant contribution, in a thoroughly NEGATIVE light.

    The bottom line being that whenever a person is SO immensely biased against a particular topic or issue, it does not matter the nature of its contents. In fact, I fear such negative, biased attitude and standpoint, in essence, dilutes the impact (if any) of whatever this unpleasant individual may have to express…

    I fear that ch.cÀ¢€™s extreme and disqualified hatred for Brazil & Brazilians (with one noted exception, as far as I perceive) represents an exceedingly sad (and hopeless) state of affairs…


    Questions about agriculture – SURELY YOU MUST ASK CH-CH
    Since ch-c is a person so obviously obsessed with statistical data and so inclined to diminish ANY accomplishment of poorer countries, probably conceal his peasant background…

  • João da Silva

    [quote]Did you know that Uruguay got a higher and better investment grade than…the NOT so good….BRAZIL ? [/quote]
    I did!
    [quote]Funny…this was not published…in Brazil medias….a Mercosur member ![/quote]

    Why would they publish, to lose their advertisement revenues from the government? It is good to know other languages and access the web sites of different countries. But, sometimes I think ignorance is a bliss and therefore better not read any newspaper and keep watching the “Novelas” 🙁

  • ch.c.

    Continued from the odious…..sadly saying the truth :
    Did you know that Uruguay got a higher and better investment grade than…the NOT so good….BRAZIL ?

    Funny…this was not published…in Brazil medias….a Mercosur member !

    Too shameful I suppose.

  • ch.c.

    “These Brazilian Entrepreneuses Have Trade in Their Genes ”
    So true !!!!!
    End results ?
    – Brazil exports Us$ 1000.- per capita……in 2008 ! A fraction from the odious…the idiot mentioned ! 25 times less…in fact dear junkie. Ohhhhh and strange that Nooooo Swiss caress their navel with as much fervor as brazilians do…dear idiot !
    – Brazil is so competitive in shoes production, for example, they dont beat China or Vietnam but of course Brazil doesnt allow so much Chinese shoes imports as is the case in the EU or in my country. But of course the most unfair are the developed countries, not Brazil ! Hmmmm doesnt add up……dear junkie !
    – Ohhh and the US$ 1000.- exports per capita is also HALF…of Thailand. Would you allow me then to say that Thais Entrepreneurs have TWICE as many Genes as Brazilians Entrepreneurs ? Sounds right….at least !
    – Not over, did you know dear junkie, that the 66-stock Bovespa Index, gets almost half its value from producers of energy and raw materials ?????? No need to have Trade in the Genes when demand is coming from….OUTSIDE…. IN MY VIEW !!!!!!

    This said, I ALSO admit, that being charged 25 to 45 percent interests on loans, at time of a 5-7 % inflation, when not subsididized by the BNDES as not only the agri/farms producers are but also others too, Brazilians entrepreneurs have a tougher job.

    Just think of it….if you can, dear junkie !

    And let me conclude with internal (inside Brazil) and outside views, that are NOT mine, published no later than…TODAY :

    – Banco Itau Holding Financeira SA’s Roberto Egydio Setubal says Brazil has been transformed after inflation dropped to 6.1 percent from 6,800 percent in April 1990 and the nation got its first investment-grade rating. Templeton Asset Management Ltd.’s Mark Mobius isn’t convinced as interest rates rise at the fastest pace in the developing world and foreign investors sell equities like never before.

    – “You cannot say the country has changed,” said Mobius, 71, who oversees about $40 billion in emerging-market equities at Templeton in Singapore. “The experience they’ve had in responsible government spending and balanced budgets is relatively short. Inflation was high. We all have to be very mindful that these things can happen again.”

    Let me add that…-just look at what is going on in the Other Mercosur members : inflation rate in Venezuela is above 30 %-, and with cheating (well known tricks in South America) in Argentina the Offcial inflation rate is at 9 % but internal opponents are talking of over 20 %….if you did not know, dear junkie !!!!!!

    Feel free to applaude those who cheat, lie and hide. I will remain within those than are more than Mobious…but odious….sometimes !!!! If truth hurts, then the obvious may be odious….for those who cheat, lie and hide, and for those who caress their navel several times a day when they have no basis to be as pretentious as they are. I am talking of Brazilians of course.

    And on a lighter note to Joao : foreign females in my country are ALL dreaming to change their color passports to…RED with a cross !!!!! And most realize their dreams. Staying in a peaceful, clean and developed country is the reason they left their “apparent paradise”.
    Is it paradise here ? Certainly not, but no doubt we are closer to it, than Brazil, Venezuela or Morocco.
    We dont need exporting basic commodities despite our corn and potatoes production per hectare is much higher than Brazil.
    Your national corn average is around 3 tons per hectare, here 9 tons. For potatoes in Brazil the average is close to 20 tons, here 40 tons. And also for wheat, our production per hectare is TWICE than Brazil
    if Brazilians or even an Americans wish to know what intensive agriculture is…..feel free to ask to a Swiss !
    Ohhh and we are also ranked WORLD FIRST….for the country who has the most BIO agriculture….if the other junkie did not know yet !!!!
    Joao, could you also tell the junkie that most Brazilians milk cows and goats have an origin…from my country !!!!
    😉 😀 😉

  • ..

    [quote]IF YOU ONLY KNEW… about the particular Venezuelan under consideration…(not to mention the MANY who won the tittle of Miss Universe), you would POSITIVELY concur.[/quote]

    After carefully examining your comments and that of your Swiss Adversary, I detected that you both have something in common. Affectionate regards for the females from Venezuela and Morocco. 😉

    As for me, I like “cultural” exchanges with the females of all nationalities, regardless of the color of their passports 😉


    DOUBLE-DOT – you really make me laugh
    IF YOU ONLY KNEW… about the particular Venezuelan under consideration…(not to mention the MANY who won the tittle of Miss Universe), you would POSITIVELY concur.
    This particular lady had the capacity to disturn anyone, including the CEO of my former employers!!!
    Simply and positively “breathtaking”!!!!

  • ..

    Lord Augustus,

    Finally I succeed in locating the “LOST” thread and read all the thought provoking and mind stimulating comments exchanged between your Noble self and our brilliant young scholar friend Dnb. Though I could not contributed anymore significant material to enhance the civilized debate, I did enjoy it.

    [quote]Finally, to conclude this essay, IÀ¢€™m sure that you À¢€“ Dnbaiacu (as well as Double-Dot, Four-Dot, and any Nameless around) would like to join me (and many others) as I extend to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, my congratulations on their Diamond Anniversary Year (the 60th wedding anniversary of the Queen and Duke).[/quote]

    I fully second your motion to congratulate Her Majesty and the Duke on the Diamond Jubilee of their Wedding. I sincerely hope that our other friend “Shameless Nameless” also remembers this great event and makes it a point to attend the ceremony and conveys our best wishes personally.

    [quote]Moreover, the exceedingly pleasing physical À¢€œattributesÀ¢€Â of Brazilian and Venezuelan Ladies tend to be irrespective of social class! ItÀ¢€™s truly amazingÀ¢€¦[/quote]

    I also take this opportunity to congratulate you for having worked tirelessly to establish an extremely “close” relationship with the people of Venezuela. 😀


    Actually Double Dot – you may have a point there!
    Despite my gentleman upbringing and countenance, during my relatively wild adolescence, I have been known to astound more than a couple of relatives who might get wind of my conduct while engaged inÀ¢€Â particular activitiesÀ¢€Â, À¢€œstudiesÀ¢€Â and/or À¢€œgamesÀ¢€Â, that involved, for some reason, any type of “unveiling”… Not to mention a certain sneaky habit I eventually developed of suggesting the inclusion of a jewel, to the hiding spot under consideration…
    Dear me!

  • Double-Dot

    [quote]Good look with your endeavor to unveil her phone number À¯ÂÅ  [/quote]

    Thank you so much. I would like to endeavor not only to “unveil” her phone number, but also undress her completely and check what she has to “hide”. As you will readily concur with me, our circle of friends in this blog consists of serious “researchers” in pursuit of “hidden” talents.


    Additional (side comment) to Double-Dot (different issue)
    I must bring to your attention that you may have missed some (additional) significant exchange, elsewhere, with our good friend Dnbaiacu.

    Since IÀ¢€™m beginning to get somewhat familiarized, with some of your “tastes”, I suspect that you might greatly enjoy the “intellectual battled” that ensued, since the last time you’ve checked itÀ¢€¦
    Augustus Severus



    “Attempt” to provide “some” answers to EAGER Double-Dot!

    It’s nearly impossible for any person to identify any “issue” whatsoever with the pleasing, impressive photo above. In a more general fashion, slightly digressing from the issue at hand, most females native of Brazil – as well as Venezuela – tend to be, for some inexplicable reason, the very definition of beauty and grace! Moreover, the exceedingly pleasing physical À¢€œattributesÀ¢€Â of Brazilian and Venezuelan Ladies tend to be irrespective of social class! ItÀ¢€™s truly amazingÀ¢€¦

    As of her “alleged youth”, my dear friend, taking the enormous risk of offending such a lovely, stylish, and capable individual, I would be inclined to disagree… I’m not in any way suggesting that the Lady in question would be “old”… Yet, for members of the upper echelons of any society, particularly females who are born & raised in Brazil, tend to find unfathomable ways to remain “youthful” (and beautiful, of course). At any rate, IÀ¢€™m convinced that, in the end, the natural age of such lovely specimen would be completely irrelevant for most. Beauty and charm are, in such cases, À¢€œagelessÀ¢€Â attributes!

    Yet, at this point, I would like to ask you, my dear friend, whether you realize that our current À¢€œexchangeÀ¢€Â could be easily classified as plain “chauvinist” by any eventual reader of the female sex who may have stumbled upon these linesÀ¢€¦. LOL
    Surely, as customary for us, we are severely digressing from the intended issue of the main article, which certainly focuses on the LadiesÀ¢€™ remarkable mental capabilities, organizational skills, and business savvy, all of which, under these particular circumstances À¢€œhappenÀ¢€Â to be situated “on top” (no pun intended) of their agreeable figures…

    As for your dream of obtaining her phone number, esteemed Double-Dot, were I not certain of your musing over scattered thoughts, surely struggling with your own “hormones”, I would start worrying about the inevitable disappointment to which you would certainly be condemned, in light of such a self-delusional dilemma.

    Finally, in connection with your conjecture about the LadyÀ¢€™s place of residence, your À¢€œguess is pretty much as good as mineÀ¢€ÂÀ¢€¦ Yet, while IÀ¢€™m nearly certain of her Brazilian origin, because this blog is focused on Brazil, my À¢€œintuitionÀ¢€Â tells I that she À¢€œlives in the Republic (as you put it), and also, she is most likely a resident of the Pauliceia, the nationÀ¢€™s most sophisticated metropolisÀ¢€¦

    Good look with your endeavor to unveil her phone number À¯ÂÅ 

  • Double-Dot

    My Lord, thanks for your long winded comments about the good ladies of Brasil. Indeed, you have good taste and nobody in this blog (including our odious Swiss colleague) would deny this important fact.

    What really pleased me about the article is NOT the contents, but the PICTURE. This young lady reminds me of Cleopatra about whom our favorite author Bill Shake has written extensively.I wonder about the name of this Young lady in the picture, whether she resides in our great Republic and if so, her telephone number.


    Remarkable Ladies
    It is always delightful to me whenever I find examples of class, intelligence, and education among Brazilian ladies who refrain from limiting their horizons to just caring for (and displaying) their alluring charm and great beauty!

    What I trust to be even more relevant, however, is the fact that there are some examples of such conduct, which can be found among a few other, less privileged, Brazilian women, who are not prominent members of the upper echelon of Brazilian society. Though some may lack the refinement of a True Lady (such as those mentioned under the main article above), while sharing the same charm & beauty, many “average” Brazilian “heroines” in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Brasilia (as well as in some other state capitals) can be compared, in every count, to the Ladies in focus!

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