Luiz Andrade has been an avid builder — an avid builder of his life, an avid builder of his passion, and…someone who builds websites. That’s actually how he started his entrepreneur journey.
He’s currently seventeen years old, yet has created a business himself in the areas of Branding, Design, Marketing and Sales — back when he was just 12 years old.
teamCARPE’s Athena had the honour of sitting down with Luiz for a quick conversation on his entrepreneurship journey. Since he had exposed himself to business at such a young age, we wanted to figure out why exactly he even bothered to break into the website building industry.
“Since I was ten, I’ve always wanted to do an exchange programme to develop my English and experience another culture”, he starts. “In 2017, I had an opportunity to do such a programme in London. I basically really wanted to go, but I didn’t have money, and my family was going through a really hard time.”
He pauses at this point, and we can’t help but feel empathetic towards his gauge of the situation he was in in the past. Oftentimes, it’s a toss-up between our dreams and a realistic circumstance, and having to juggle between the two can be challenging. He continues, grinning, “I thought about literally 100 different ways to make that [going overseas] happen and I finally realized that I could work as a web developer and offer some digital services for companies — website development, mainly.”
“I used to make some graphic arts websites for Youtube Channels and Twitter profiles for free, just for fun. Thus, I had a portfolio of jobs I had previously done and decided to start charging an amount of money for my job.”
Luiz started to set up meetings with companies in his own city, beginning to develop websites for clients to raise money for himself to embark on the exchange programme. “I made it”, he says, eyes glimmering, “and after I came back, after a lot of conversations and reflections with myself and with my mentor, I noticed that what I had done was entrepreneurship — and decided to start a business in this area of digital services and design.”
I literally said to him: “Man, are you crazy? You’re kidding, right?”
That was what Luiz said to Bruno Nobre, his mentor. Nobre is a Brazilian engineer and businessman who Luiz met in 2017. Said Luiz, “Even before I went to London, he was helping me with my career choices.”
Luiz smiles. “I wanted to pursue a stable career, being a doctor, lawyer, engineer or something like that. When I came back from the UK, I went to him to talk about my experience and he told me that what I had just done was a typical entrepreneurial trait: I was in a hard situation, an extremely delicate family moment, had a goal, used entrepreneurship to tackle it –” Luiz pauses for a moment, and we can just imagine the intensity of these memories washing over him. “Most importantly, I was resilient.”
“When I came back, noticing that I had taken an entrepreneurial approach to resolving my situation, I decided to take this career a little bit more seriously.”
“Everything happened in 2017-18, when I was fifteen, sixteen years old.”
He closes off our conversation by telling us some hard statistics about his business. “Our activities have been reduced by about 90 per cent since the first seventy days of 2020.” When we ask him why, out of concern, he cracks a wry grin, and says that his partner and himself are in discussions about whether or not they will continue to expand or maintain business in this specific sector, due to the different future plans they have.
“I just graduated from high school.”