The 100 Most Influential People of 2021
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September 15, 2021 7:19 AM EDT

In a business world still dominated by men, a Brazilian woman, Luiza Trajano, has managed to make Magazine Luiza, which started as a single store in 1957, into a retail giant worth in the tens of billions. It’s a major accomplishment—one among many.

When COVID-19 arrived in Brazil, killing more than 580,000 Brazilians and causing a recession, Magazine Luiza helped small businesses adapt to digital commerce by providing a platform for them to sell and deliver their products. At a time when the Brazilian federal government was downplaying the risk the pandemic posed, Luiza courageously spoke about the urgency of vaccination. She has also been a vocal advocate for equality, creating Mulheres do Brasil, a nonpartisan group of more than 95,000 women working to build a better society, and support victims of domestic violence. And, in late 2020, in an effort to promote inclusivity within Magazine Luiza, she launched a trainee program offering opportunities to Afro-Brazilians.

In a world where billionaires burn their fortunes on space adventures and yachts, Luiza is dedicated to a different kind of odyssey. She has taken on the challenge of building a commercial giant while constructing a better Brazil.

Lula is a former President of Brazil, from 2003 to 2010

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