Sandra Correia, founder and president of Pelcor, is a young entrepreneur, with a considerable academic curriculum and an eventful business career. Sandra has been surrounded by cork oak since she was little and knows the industry inside-out. It was her curiosity and perseverance that led her to create her own brand, Pelcor®. With Pelcor, Sandra started working on her dream: making cork a fashionable material and turning it into stylish products. Pelcor began with an invitation to represent Portugal at the Almeria International Fair for Entrepreneur Women in 2002. At that time, Sandra was working at Novacortiça S.A., her family company of champagne cork disks mass production playing a key role by managing the production, suppliers, quality and sales departments.
Showing a variety of products, this Fair elected a winner: the cork umbrella, which, in 2003, became the iconic product of the brand Pelcor. As proof of the role that Sandra Correia has been developing, Novacortiça, S.A. was chosen by the European Community as the Portuguese role model company that breaks gender stereotypes in a traditional business area, giving opportunities for talent to improve the company performance by Sandra’s leadership.
Sandra is frequently invited to speak about her business experience in international conferences and is seen as an ambassador for Portuguese companies and for the cork industry. Sandra was distinguished in 2011 as winner of the Best Female Entrepreneur of the Year for Europe by the European Community. She has also received awards such as 2010 Challenger Winner’ from Invest Media Group, 2009 Entrepreneur of the Year from LENA Media Group, 2007 Entrepreneur of the Year by ANJE (Portuguese Association for Young Entrepreneurs), 2006 Young Entrepreneur by UALG (Algarve University), among others. In 2013, the entrepreneur was selected among 91 countries to join the summit created by President Obama – “A New Beginning: Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation” – where she met with outstanding entrepreneurs to promote mutual understanding and global diplomacy. In 2014, Pelcor was distinguished once again.
In January, the American Chamber of Commerce has honored Pelcor with the AmCham Tribute trophy for it significant contribution for the relationship between Portugal and the U.S., during 2013 and its performance, strategy and effectiveness throughout its implementation.