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Tobias Barreto

Tobias Barreto is a small city in the North-Eastern part of Brazil amongst arid lands. Tobias Barreto has a great unused development capacity that, until now, never had the chance to realize its full potential. The project Mais Tobias has been developed to activate these slumbering potentials. It is an ambitious, integrated intervention in a relatively small and poor community with a great need. The project addresses needs and problem-areas of the community using the existing potential of the community of Tobias Barreto and surroundings areas, diversifying and strengthening its overall economic situation.

stimulating local talents
The project consists of various sub-projects that address pressing problems and stimulate local talents and entrepreneurship. An exiting and integral part of this project is the fact that many of the sub-programmes will focus on youth, creating a feeling of hope for their future. Therefore, the project will be driven by 5 talented youngsters trained by STROhalm/InSTROdi, called the task force, giving them extra opportunities for income. All the sub-projects will reinforce each other mutually through the umbrella-project of a Local Exchange Circuit. Several sub-projects, in sectors like employment, entrepreneurship, education, and urbanism are being negotiated. All the interventions are articulated by the use of a local currency, both earned and spent in these different sub-projects.



Topaz
Building on the foundations of an existing program (APL Promos SEBRAE: a cluster of 1789 handicraftsmen and businessmen of the textile sector), the goal is to create a widespread local socio-economic development, based on a combination of the C3 and VLC methodologies described before. For trade between the city council, existing and new enterprises it is not the national currency (Reais) that will be used, but an own currency: the "Topaz". The Topaz will be circulating within Tobias only, in this way stimulating local companies. Part of the project is to give all enterprises access to internet so the complementary currency Cyclos can be used to stimulate trade in Topaz and to advertise.

The city council of Tobias is going to convert Reais into Topaz through payments of salaries and social welfare and spending at local companies. The people of Tobias can spend the Topaz at local companies. Converting Topaz to Reais means a loss in exchange so the Topaz will circulate some time before it is converted. The city council will bring continuously Topaz into circulation, making the economic impact of the project permanent.

partners
Local counterparts are AEESE- Associação dos Empresários Empretecos de SergipeTobias Barreto - surrounding (Association of Empretec Entrepreneurs of Sergipe), the Municipal and State governments and several other local organisations, representing the business sector as well as the community in general. A local project consultant has been hired and trained by Instrodi/STROhalm to provide constant support to the implementation of the project, training of the local counterparts and negotiations.






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