The Difference One Person (And A Few Hundred Benefactors) Can Make

Friday, February 12, 2010

Our friend and sometimes contributor, Cesar, gave me the heads-up this week that his venture, MiCasa, is a finalist in the Unreasonable Marketplace contest, a contest where 37 social venturers are vying to be the first to raise $6,500 for their ideas to help the world. Donations are allowed up to $50, and the first to get to the $6,500 goal gets to attend the institute’s 10-week, summer incubation program.

Cesar’s tackling the housing problem for the urban poor with the following goals:

1) Work directly with the poor to design a viable housing solution. 2) Acquire inexpensive land adjacent to the city, with natural resources (water, sand) to manufacture construction materials on-site. 3) Develop sustainable infrastructure, including greywater recycling, green spaces, and a renewable source for power. 4) Employ the poor (creating jobs & buy-in) in the manufacturing of materials and construction of homes. 5) Use micro-loans to finance the development – the goal is self-financing with $36/month mortgage payments on 15-year loans – about the same as rent in the slums.

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