The Build School

The Build School

Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The creation of a multiple, revolving investment fund, which will offer capacity building in the civil construction market to women and, consequently, will give access to housing, income and sustainability.

About You
Project Street Address
Project City
Project Province/State
Project Postal/Zip Code
Project Country
Your idea
Year initiative/program began:


Field of work


If Field of Work is "Other" please define in 1-2 words below (and explain in detail in the entry form):
Service / Activity focus (If "other" please explain in entry form)


Year organization founded (yyyy)


YouTube Upload

Canal da Lua Nova no Youtube

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

Inauguração do condomínio:
<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

Positioning of your initiative on the Mosaic of Solutions™ diagram:
Which of these barriers is the primary focus of your work?

Lack of access to markets or products

Which of the principles is the primary focus of your work?

Prove that social return doesn’t preclude financial gain

If you believe some other barrier or principle should be included in the mosaic, please describe it and how it would affect the positioning of your initiative in the mosaic

Suggested principle: social inclusion of women in the construction market and generation of financial cycle for housing construction.

What is your signature innovation, your new idea, in one sentence?

The creation of a multiple, revolving investment fund, which will offer capacity building in the civil construction market to women and, consequently, will give access to housing, income and sustainability.

Describe what makes your idea unique—different from all others in the field.

1- Access to a good, a house, in a fair, transparent and non-paternalistic fashion, empowering and professionalizing the individual
2- The innovation will be self-sustainable in two years, given that the fund will essentially: support building the house, which will be paid via leasing; professionalize women as civil construction labor force, generate income through services; and operationalize a brick production (factory) for sale.
3- Change in the social investment perspective via this new and sustainable concept.
4- A larger number of people will be reached.
5- Investors (companies) will be able to verify the economic and social result (transparency). Initial investment will breakeven in two years.

How do you implement your innovation and apply it to the challenge/problem you are addressing?

The revolving fund will have two accounts: one in which investors will put their investments (includes access to the information about the status of the fund) and another account for the yield generated through leasing, services, brick factory, and professionalization courses). The fund will be electronically available via a website which will also show the transparency of the project. The great challenge is the mindset shift of those supporting the project, as well as of the target group who will move from a social player in poverty position towards the realization of their dream of owning a house, though a sustainable business.

Do you have any existing partnerships, and if so, how did you create them?

he Build School program already set partnerships with the Local Municipality, Petrobrás and a financial consulting firm to adequate the social-driven proposal with business environment. In addition, it counts with the support of Ashoka’s ASN (Ashoka Support Network) to help design the proposal.
Besides, the Junior Enterprise of the Engineering University of Sorocaba are giving support to the strategic development of our professionalization courses as well as the brick production; and the Sabia Residencial (real state company) is designing a business plan to measure the total value and quantify the impact.

All these alliances become concrete due to the interest of these organizations in playing in the base of the pyramid market, via methodologies that are adequate and sustainable to open up access to housing and thus make citizenship a reality.

In which sector do these partners work? (Check all that apply)

Provide one sentence describing your impact/intended impact.

Facilitate access to low-cost houses, as well as professionalization, income generation to low-income women.

Please list any other measures of the impact of your innovation.

Other ways to measure impact of this innovation is through the amount of income generated, number of people reached by the Project. This means that if the methodology is proved successful, it will be possible to create impact indicators that will work as criteria for certifying projects in other states, the so-called social franchises. Each of these franchises will be certified by a method to guarantee quality

Does your innovation address and/or change banking regulations?

This initiative responds to that as it will use the Brazilian financial model in benefit of the socially excluded population, something that does not happen to day, as the financial system only benefits the wealthier. The idea is to impact the system and its principle, driving it towards the low-income population and constituting thus a hybrid model.

How many people does your innovation serve or plan to serve? Exactly who will benefit from your innovation?

Considering that a house costs R$20.000,00, courses R$1.000,00 per person, learning scholarship R$ 500,00 and R$ 80,00 for meals, a fund of R$ (a million of reais) could benefit 46 families in a year 1. In year 2, these 46 families would help benefit additional 31 families, according to the table below, which also shows values of R$ 500,00 for 30 weekly working hours of a civil construction professional, the selling of R$ 500,00 in bricks ( 2500/month) and the payment of houses’ leases (all these resources will compose the revenues).

Financing source
How is your initiative financed (or how do you expect your initiative will be financed)?

See the Sustainability Flow attached.

If known, provide information on your finances and organization:

Annual budget 2007: R$ 1.800.000,00
Annual revenue generated 2007: R$ 1.800.000,00
Number of staff: 43 staff members and 15 volunteers

Origin of resources
• Companies and Corporate Foundations: 11%
• International Funds: 23%
• Foundations: 3%
• Government: 44%
• Events: 1%
• Individuals: 8%
• Services: 5%
• Product selling: 5%

What are the main financial barriers and how do you plan to address them?

The housing deficit reaches over 83.2% of low-income families in Brazil. Among those, there are 34 millions people between 15 and 24 years old, of which 17 millions are women (4,3% are illiterate). These young women grew up in a context in which 28.36% of the Brazilian families where below the poverty line in 1999 (less than a half of a minimum wage per family). In other words, these women do not have access neither to a house of their own nor to Housing Programs established by national public policies.

Aside from financial sustainability, how do you plan to grow the initiative?

By creating social franchises that can be implemented in other states or even other countries. In this way, the alternative financial structure will spread and incorporate new people, companies, investors, and thus improving the housing conditions of women.

The Story

What was the motivation or defining moment that led to the creation of this innovation? Tell us the story.

The idea of this Project started when I visited the house of a young woman that assisted by Lua Nova. On a first sight, she was fine, with her child, studying, generating income. However, once I entered her house and saw that her food was hanging on the ceiling, I asked why. She answered that during the night, rats walked around the house. At that moment, I felt that despite the our efforts to structure a transformation process for the women in the project, we would never achieve success if we did not face the hard issue of a dignified house. I timidly started the project Build School, a civil construction school for young women at risk.
In a short time, youngsters, women and very low-income people began to contact Lua Nova and show their need, will and strength to fight for their own dignity through the construction of their own houses. By believing on the need to create a solid structure for such audacious proposal, we got involved with body and soul in this project. Living every stage of implementing the Build School, we continuously built in this difficult dream, at the same time we propitiated a realist view of the situation for the young women. The partnership with the mothers helped us keep with our feet on the ground. This process made us reflect carefully over every step and each proposal, and applied it in our day-to-day, redefining goals and valuing small action not perceived before. This made us structure better, even internally. Nowadays, we recognize our limitations and manage to share our strengths much more.

Please provide a personal bio of the social innovator behind this initiative.

I graduated in Psychology by the University of Sao Paulo, where I also did my masters. At that time, I started a long process of working with people with social and psychical vulnerabilities. I have lived in Italy for seven years, where I graduated again in clinical psychology at the University of Padova, and specialized on community projects and on assisting mothers and children in situation of risk. When I returned to Brazil, I started working with young pregnant women and founded Lua Nova, which I preside, and become an Ashoka Fellow in 1999. During this process, I developed various proposals to assist young mothers in their relation with their children, in income generation, and in education. I became then a consultant for the Unesco for Education and Vulnerabilities, a Coordinator of the Center for Education in Community Work (German Government – European Union), a Specialist in Fighting against sexual violence at SEDH and ANDI, and a Especial Consultant for the National Secretariat for Drugs. Nowadays, I study proposal to work in the base of the pyramid and inclusive social businesses, in order to find a wider range of solutions to increase the access of youth and people at risk.

a) Please identify the individuals that your innovation benefits (Please check all that apply)

Producers , Consumers , Holders of assets.

b) Do you help the people you serve to buy goods or services using financial innovation? If so, how?

We got land, which was purchased at a low price, and we made a partnership with the CSO Ação Moradia to develop a Project for brick production. The machinery was acquired through a legal process in which we are trustees of the owner of pottery who has run away. We started the process and, at the tie, participated at the business plan competition of Ashoka-McKinsey. We won the first prize in this Award and, with the prize, we bought equipment and improve land conditions. After the Award, we got resources from Petrobras and Camargo Correa to train young women and purchase building materials. The first social condominium (12 houses) was built with donations and the support of the Engineering University of Sorocaba, SENAI and a series of technological and economic partners. After this construction and several mistakes and difficulties, we accomplished to organize and create a ideal house model and to design the procedure to pay for the houses. Currently, each young women pays monthly a leasing of R$120.00, which goes to a bank account called rotative fund. This fund is used to the train new young women. This is the Fund we aim to broaden up and to leverage its efficiency as a way to generate higher impact and a sustainable project.

c) Do you help the people you serve to sell goods or services using financial innovation? If so, how?

The Project became very famous due to its innovation and courage, and there is Constant coverage of the press. Besides, the women at the project organize every six months an event where they build in public spaces, partner restaurants, squares, walls, kiosks, etc. as a way to create awareness about the project, and invite civil construction people to know better this experience. We have requests from all Brazilian states and now we are developing an economic model to offer this technology in a complete and sustainable way.