On her professional and academic course, Isabel Guimarães Costa began by graduating in Food Engineering – Biotechnology at the Universidade Católica do Porto, and did several types of training in management, business and marketing in Portugal (PADE/AESE) and abroad (Harvard, London Business School, INSEAD). For 20 years she developed her professional activity at Sonae Distribution, going through several roles and jobs at the stores operational areas, in management, coordination on the development of new management models, brands and business, where the commercial area was the most important. She was in charge of several of those areas as a member of the administration council. In March 2011 launched her career as an entrepreneur, together with her husband João Tomás, on sole projects that intend social and economic development of more remote regions of the country with special notice for the Burel Factory Project (the recovery of a factory, its machinery and knowledge of the wooly fabrics in Manteigas) and the Penhas Douradas Food Project (an innovative approach to gourmet food products made with ingredients from Serra da Estrela). Burel Factory has nowadays 4 stores, all in Portugal and more than 700 clients across 35 countries. All these projects had its beginning on the work developed around tourism, the Casa das Penhas Douradas, which opened in 2006.
Isabel Guimarães Costa