Tim Vieira moved from South Africa to Portugal to ...

Tim Vieira moved from South Africa to Portugal to make a difference in business, education and now also in politics

Brave Generation Academy (BGA) Porto Anje

By: Bruno Filipe Pires 

From business to politics

The son of Portuguese immigrants, Tim Vieira was born in 1975 in Johannesburg. When he moved to Portugal at the age of 26, he was already a successful entrepreneur.

Tim Vieira

Today, he has multiple investments in different areas, from real estate to startups. Some may recognise him from his time on the Portuguese version of the TV showShark Tank”, in 2015.

Now he is making headlines for his bid for President of Portugal in the 2026 elections. This is currently his main focus as is the implementation of the Brave Generation Academy (BGA), a decentralised education model that already has 1,000 students in 57 locations across the mainland and in the island of Madeira.

BGA Lagos Hub – Lagos Marina

“The focus of this project is not to make a profit. It’s about having sustainable hubs and, with that, also being able to give grants and bring in people from different economic classes; to have a diverse ecosystem that can work,” he explains.

The BGA is accredited online by Cambridge and is designed for young people between the ages of 11 and 19.

“We follow the British International Curriculum, the so-called golden standard. When they turn 16, students can pursue higher education in the areas of business, computer science, sports management and so on. We can also offer the US Curriculum,” he explains. “This is a critical moment for Portugal and our young people. We need to have an advantage over the rest of the world and provide an education that is ahead of society.”

Vieira also began to look at BGA as an entrepreneur. “What will we need tomorrow? How can we scale up? How can we put together something that will work for 90% of the students?

This is a school that gives children autonomy, responsibility and soft skills to grow and realise that they can work as a team, be creative and think outside the box.”

Brave Generation Academy – Cascais Hub

And he is already thinking about adult learning. “As well as digital certifications, we are starting to work on courses for those who want to learn a skill and learn how to run a business around it.

There are gaps in various professions. Education is not just for those who are going to get a degree. It is so much more. And there are opportunities that we cannot fill” in the Portuguese labour market.

Jobs are changing because of new technologies that are emerging. We need to have more agile, flexible and personalised solutions to prepare people for jobs in different areas. That is what BGA is about.”

As for his presidential bid, Tim Vieira says: “I cannot stand by and watch what is happening in the country without doing something. We need a different mindset. I know that the President does not have executive power, but they can help implement a vision and a direction. We can do what we did 500 years ago again, if we think globally so that we can be competitive and invite the industries of the future to come to Portugal, without wasting time thinking other things will save the country. We need better wages and we have to have a plan for that.”

Vieira is also dedicating his time to film production. “It is more than a hobby because I believe that a country without culture has no future. I find it difficult to see young people with so much potential – I am talking about actors, directors, the whole technical team – in a country with good conditions for filmmaking, and we do not give this enough credit. Culture seems to fall outside of the areas that we consider important. My plan was to make a few projects happen and give some hope. We are starting to succeed, but we need more international, public and private partnerships so that it can be possible to make a living from culture and not just survive.”

Perhaps even more difficult is the goal for his “Escolhe Portugal” (Choose Portugal) Movement: to make it into the top 10 best countries in which to do business.

Portugal is currently competing with countries like Romania and Estonia. We cannot get ahead because of taxes and bureaucracy. That is why it is crucial to make decisions to remove the obstacles and move forward quickly. It is neither difficult nor necessary to do everything at once, but it does take vision,” he says.

Asked about his origins, Tim Vieira says: “It is like the love you feel for your children; you love them all. I am lucky enough to have a big heart that can fit Portugal and South Africa, plus Angola and Mozambique where I also have ties. Portugal is where I chose to live with my family and where I want to make a change. Both countries are different, but incredible, with a great past. They have experienced great hardship – I am talking about Apartheid, for example. And Portugal, with everything it has been through, has even managed to have a bloodless revolution. I find that admirable. To summarise, I think that these countries, with the right leaders, with the right people, can have a great future. But they are stuck in time because they don’t have these. Now it is in Portugal that I want to make an impact.”


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