The Lagos Entrepreneur Factory

In the last edition we visited the Lagos Entrepreneur Factory (Fábrica do Empreendedor de Lagos). This month, we meet two more entrepreneurs that the incubator has helped support.

Filipa Barros Baptista

Filipa was born and studied in Lisbon, where she graduated in Design. She came to Lagos when she was 23-years-old and dedicated herself to teaching the arts. She worked in several 3rd cycle (ages 10-14) and secondary schools in Lagos, Évora, Mafra and Vila do Bispo.

“Besides my work as a teacher, I have always dedicated myself to experimentation in several artistic disciplines, such as painting, collages, illustration and the creation of handmade pieces in several types of materials,” she explains.

Her entrepreneurial project emerged from a passion for colour and painting – especially the transformation of interior and exterior spaces. She creates special environments through decorative painting and unique artistic pieces. 

“I believe I can bring harmony, beauty, health and well-being for people by contributing to the aesthetic and functional enrichment of the spaces. I give individuals or institutions the opportunity to rethink their living and workspaces, to understand the impact that their choices can have on their life, their health and their performance.”

Filipa’s services range from painting entire rooms to designing a feature wall or other special, decorative feature. “I hope to contribute to the common good, always listening and respecting the clients’ preferences and needs,” she says.

Filipa turned to the Lagos Entrepreneur Factory because she needed guidance. She gained support in structuring a business plan and learnt how to present and implement her business. “It was particularly beneficial for enriching and increasing my contacts in the region, getting to know other entrepreneurs, other projects, other experiences and possibilities.”

Sonia Cardoso

Sonia lived in London for eight years, working as a professional therapist at a spa before completing a season as a cruise ship therapist. Due to the pandemic, Sonia returned to Portugal in need of massage therapy. After consulting some therapists, the earliest she could get an appointment was three days later. Recalling the situation, she says: ”I had a hard time going to the place of therapy, and I thought it would have been good for the therapist to have been able to come to my house at the time I needed it most.” 

The digital platform SOKURA, which offers therapeutic massages on-demand, was born. The client makes an appointment through the website, chooses the therapist, the day and time; bookings can be made up to one hour in advance. “Our goal is to provide the best service in real-time when the client needs it most. The therapist also gives some advice and recommendations, and the client can rate the service provided so that we can see the level of satisfaction and possible improvement in our services.”

The platform has therapists operating in the Algarve and Lisbon with partnerships with hotels and some corporate companies. 

They provide treatments such as relaxing, deep tissue, Ayurveda, massage express and reflexology. The 20 minute ‘Massage Express’ using an articulated chair, is a popular choice for groups and events. 

SOKURA participated with great enthusiasm in the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day as a way to promote the business of newly-created, local companies. “Marta Dinis, the representative of Fábrica do Empreendedor in Lagos, organised the event and I congratulate her courage and initiative during this very challenging time. The integration of the new marketing technologies was one of the difficulties I felt, but with the support of Fábrica do Empreendedor de Lagos, I managed to overcome some of them. These initiatives help us to be supported because someone also has the same difficulty and we share our fears and anxieties in a healthy way.”

The booking of massage and wellness home treatments are increasing, and Sonia hopes that everyone will be able to enjoy SOKURA in the future to improve their quality of life. As Sonia puts it, “I hope my problem is your solution.”

Read the 1st part of this article here: The Lagos Entrepreneur Factory


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