“Knowledge is something you carry with you always.”

About Candyce

Candyce Costa emigrated from Brazil in 2001 with her husband and son. They lived in Portugal for eight years, before moving to Hertfordshire. Candyce has an Economy degree, a Business Marketing BA from Anglia Ruskin, alongside various marketing and management certifications. She has worked for several well-known corporations such as Xerox, where she was an account manager. After six years as Exhibition Manager for Latin American B2B Exhibitions at Mack Brooks, Candyce is now preparing the launch of her own venture “Business Woman Club.” Via this club, she aims to put her expertise to good use by training and consulting other aspiring business women.

Interview

Q. You mention your desire to achieve a higher educational and cultural level as a reason for leaving Brazil. What did you feel that Europe could offer that you couldn’t get in Brazil? 

My husband and I are constantly trying to improve our cultural and educational level. Our son was around six when we moved, and it was for his education too. There is a very good schooling system in Brazil, but the best schools are private and very expensive. Now my son is 22, speaks four languages, has finished his Master’s and is starting his doctorate.

Q. Despite the language being the same, you found the move to Portugal quite a culture shock. What specifically did you find so different and difficult at first?

The worst part about moving so far away was missing family and friends. Secondly, the culture in Portugal was very different to that of Brazil. The Brazilians are very loud, friendly and laid-back – it’s easy to make friends quickly. In Portugal, however, my husband and I found the people more serious, and had to adapt our personalities accordingly. It takes longer to make friends in Portugal, but when you do, it’s a very deep friendship – you properly connect, and can count on one other. Then again, whenever I am angry or passionate about something, I go back to my dramatic Brazilian hand-gesturing!

Q. Do you now feel at home in London? Will you remain in London for the foreseeable future?

Definitely. We have been living here for 8 years now, and my son has been educated in Europe and the UK – he did his GCSEs here. We speak a mix of languages at home – I’d say we speak English about 50%. At the moment, we’re looking to buy a home, and a dog!

Q. Your background is in Sales and Marketing and your recent passion is Digital marketing. How has digital marketing transformed and improved your business skills?

Digital marketing has transformed all our lives. We are dependent on the internet every day. Nowadays, if you want to travel somewhere, there is a transport app, if you want to eat something, there is an app for restaurants in the area…there is an app for everything. These channels have been built around our lives and needs, and it is the responsibility of businesses to adapt in response to social media. With digital technology, start-ups can now find a specific niche, target a market directly, and create data.

Visit Candyce's business page Business Woman Club

Visit Candyce’s business page Business Woman Club

Q. How did you come up with the idea for “Business Woman Club”? Why do many women in business need this kind of hub?

My enterprise, “Business Woman Club” is currently in the pre-launch stage, and will be fully launched in January. The principle aim is to create a safe platform for women who need training and support when launching small and medium-sized businesses; a place where they can come to find their voice and become confident in gaining the business skills they might lack.

In my experience, I have observed that many women entrepreneurs struggle to juggle their family commitments and daily routines with their business ambitions. Often, they lack the time to devise a structure and budget, and the lack of a clear strategy can stifle success.

My aim is to apply my business expertise to help others. “Business Woman Club” is a place where women do not need to be embarrassed or feel judged for not knowing how to implement a social media campaign, because they have perhaps missed out on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. I will tailor a specific marketing strategy for the individual, and either train my clients in the skills they need, or perform their marketing for them. I’m very flexible and the most important message is not to be afraid, everyone learns from their failures.

Q. And do you feel that it is harder for women to be successful in business?

There is so much pressure placed on women by society to be perfect in all aspects of their life. It can be overwhelming. I was young when I had my son, and I was a single mother, so I started my first business at 20 to support him. There will always be people who will criticise me for not spending all that time with my son, but I realised it was them, not me, making me feel guilty for this. I know that I cannot be wholly myself, I can’t be happy, unless I am being productive and working hard.

Now women come to me and ask how I have managed as a successful migrant business woman with a son who is 22, can speak four languages and is studying his PhD at Warwick University and working at CERN, Switzerland! I have managed by being firm and determined.

I cannot accept that men will earn more than me for the same job. We, as women, need to unite against this injustice and stop worrying about what others think of us. It’s not fair that a successful woman is seen as arrogant or bossy, when a successful man is seen as just successful. I am a professional too, and I should be paid my worth. My Business Woman Club aims to help guide each female entrepreneur.

Q. You have enrolled in several educational courses to do with marketing and event management. What motivates you to keep learning and increasing your credentials?

I am very curious about learning, and I always have been. I learned English and Spanish before I emigrated, I have studied yoga and nutritional courses to help improve my own lifestyle, and I am a dance coach. I think it’s really important to keep your brain exercising in different ways. Knowledge is something you can always acquire – it costs nothing and no one can take it away from you. Contrary to spending money and wasting time watching TV, knowledge is something you gain rather than lose – you carry knowledge with you.