Neusa was born on Sal island in Cape Verde and spent her younger years working in a variety of roles both inside and outside the tourism industry. A career which even includes a stint as a football player in the Madaira national team is exemplary of the many roles women take on to progress in their professional and personal lives. After her attempt to run a supermarket was cut short by the global economic crisis, Neusa returned to tourism as a freelancer. Soon, jobbing tuned into a career with a promise, when she opened her own business, selling island excursions. Within a few years, Neusa had secured both funding and certification and is now the proud owner of Kryolo Operator, a woman-led tour operating company specialising in ethical and pro-poor travel.
Neusa describes her experiences of starting her own businesses as difficult, saying that the struggle with men to assert herself was a constant during the early years. Since those years, however, she has established herself in the industry and with local communities, introducing tourists to lesser-known parts of the country, providing jobs for locals and supporting others to work their way out of poverty. As she says herself, “there are many [poor] single mothers. Getting a job or being an entrepreneur brings a lot of economic and social balance.” We couldn’t agree more, and salute Neusa for being so #BoldForChange.