Entrepreneur Márcio Cafezeiro always understood that self-education was an important part of his personality. While still young, he managed to become fluent in the English language on his own and, therefore, decided to take his knowledge further. Years later, Cafezeiro is ahead of IP School, a private English school that must make money 2 million reais in 2021.
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The IP School is the consolidation of the teaching method that, for Cafezeiro, worked very well. The school bets on different means of learning, fleeing from traditional handouts and taking into account the individual skills of each student.
Founded in 2015, the IP School already has 13 units, including its own and franchised schools. The physical schools are all in the state of São Paulo, while the franchises have a digital format.
Before opening the business, however, the entrepreneur had a tortuous journey. Cafezeiro decided to abandon the stability of a career in sports as a professional football player at clubs like Corinthians and Palmeiras, to pursue his dream of working with education. “As an athlete, I have always been the foundation of the family. That’s why it wasn’t a simple decision, but things need to move forward”, he says.
Away from the fields and at the age of 20, the way found to get closer to the passion for English was to sell door-to-door courses. “I did it for love, but I used to walk 30 km a day with borrowed shoes. I have never had a period of greater financial scarcity in my life”, he says.
The first work in a classroom came years later, at the invitation of Raquel Araruna, a friend who owned a language school. Together, they decided to found the IP School years later.
To reach the final formula for learning English “out of the box”, Cafezeiro specialized in unusual areas: neurolinguistics and emotional intelligence. “I understood that graduating as a therapist would be the answer to taking this to the students.” IP School’s proposal is to apply neurolinguistics using English as a personal development tool. “Our idea is to show that learning another language is not a barrier, but an opportunity. The methodology is all based on ending the fear of the unknown”, he says.
In practice, the IP School wants teach the way students learn, from the channels and media most admired by them to their hobbies and life stories. “We realized that by bringing each student’s reality to the table, they are more engaged and committed”, he says. The result, according to the entrepreneur, is up to 4 months less learning the language compared to the market average. 5,000 students have graduated in the last six years.
The company ended the year 2020 with 300,000 reais in sales. But for 2021, the projection is more than tripling this value, reaching 2 million reais. The network also plans to have 40 online franchises by 2022. “With all this, we will reach six-digit sales next year,” he says.
For this, partnerships with American educational institutions are being made. In exchange for the financial investment, these institutions return intellectual capital and technological development involving artificial intelligence, all to improve — and streamline — the teaching method.
The good numbers of the IP School also have social repercussions. The entrepreneur maintains the Instituto Márcio Cafezeiro, a non-profit organization that offers free classes and lectures on topics such as education, finance, emotional intelligence and first aid, in addition to collecting donations and providing hygiene and health services to homeless people.
“As an entrepreneur and a black person, I understand that my business is not just the realization of a dream, but it fulfills a social role and I must give it back to society,” he says.
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