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Maykow Lenzi: Simplifying the Finance Control Using Technology

Maykow Lenzi: Simplifying the Finance Control Using Technology


Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs.

Welcome back! Spiffy here, your interplanetary journalist reporting from Planet Earth with an eye on entrepreneurs working to make this world more equitable. Today I’m super excited to speak with Maykow Lenzi, founder of Lucrefy.

Spiffy: It’s wonderful to meet you, Maykow. I’m curious about the challenges Lucrefy is addressing. What can you tell me?

Maykow: Thanks for having me, Spiffy. Entrepreneurship is one of the most impactful ways to reduce income inequality. People with no access to better-paid jobs for several reasons, e.g., prejudice or social exclusion, decide to start a company as a way of living. In order to be successful at entrepreneurship, finance control is one of the most important elements to guarantee the success of a business. So, my company simplifies the finance control using artificial intelligence and simple text messages on WhatsApp, such as “paid 100 products,” “sold 200 cash,” or “profit”, providing graphics and analysis to those entrepreneurs.

Spiffy: That’s inspiring! What motivates you to do it?

Maykow: I do believe that entrepreneurship can reduce inequality and help people to have a better life. I used to be a volunteer mentor for micro-entrepreneurs, helping them to organize their numbers. However, I was frustrated that most of the people I helped didn´t have the knowledge and tools to manage the business. I noticed that people had a high chance to close the doors because of that. So I thought—we had the technology and expertise to help entrepreneurs overcome this finance control barrier and facilitate this task.

Spiffy: What would you say is the impact of your work?

Maykow: Lucrefy helps micro and small entrepreneurs (women in the majority) to have their companies’ finance figures monitored in a very easy and straight-to-the-point way. Using WhatsApp, probably the most used messaging app in the world, the entrepreneur can insert sales and payments using simple text messages, such as “paid 50 energy” or “sold 100 cash” and verify their profits and available cash anytime, anywhere. It is no longer necessary to have a computer or financial knowledge, taking less than five minutes a day.

Spiffy: Tell me about a recent milestone/initiative by you or your org. What impact does that make?

Maykow: We recently started to help small entrepreneurs located in the south and northeast regions of Brazil, in an agreement with the National Entrepreneurship Organization in that country. Those entrepreneurs, who never had controlled their businesses’ numbers efficiently, are reporting that now they can do it, understanding how they can perform better and get higher profits. 

Spiffy: Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?

Maykow: One point that I love at Lucrefy is that we can help people who are not tech-savvy to use technology in a very easy way. One of our heavy users is a 60-year-old lady, who sells food on the street, and has her finance figures controlled with our tool. She never properly managed her numbers. She is now improving her profits and hiring more people as a consequence. I always say—find out your passion and go for it. I do love technology and entrepreneurship. Lucrefy joins these two subjects.

Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Maykow—it’s been an honor!

Maykow Lenzi is an electrical engineer and entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience in Latin America and Europe. He is the founder of Lucrefy, a company that was part of MIT Solve 2023. He is a Stanford Ignite alumnus and has a postgraduate degree in business administration and software. He loves sports, trees, and animals. He is always learning and overcoming barriers with common sense and good humor. (Nominated by Maya Bingaman at MIT Solve. First published on the Ladderworks website on March 27, 2024.)

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.

© 2024 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Sujit Kunte. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.