I have always trusted people and seen how far they can go when they reach their full potential. We are working to improve the quality of public education in Brazil because it is the best way of expanding everyone’s potential and, consequently, realizing the country’s full potential. At the same time, we are focused on developing young talent and leaders because we believe in the multiplying effect they can have.
Both of these objectives are at the core of our foundation’s motivation. They have the same underpinning principle and go hand-in-hand in our mission of transforming Brazil through educational excellence and the development of critical social sectors.
Before founding the Lemann Foundation, I believed that fulfilling my entrepreneurial calling was enough to repay Brazil for the opportunities it had afforded me. However, I came to the conclusion that I could go further, taking my big dreams beyond the corporate world. The Lemann Foundation is my way of doing more to give back to society. Even though its efforts are only a drop in the ocean of all that must be done to address Brazil’s current needs and challenges, I believe it will be a meaningful drop.
About our Founder
The Lemann Foundation was launched in 2002 by self-made Brazilian entrepreneur Jorge Paulo Lemann. Born in Rio de Janeiro in 1939, Lemann is widely regarded as a business-class hero in Brazil, and he has used his considerable investing acumen to cement himself as one of the world’s most prolific private investors and philanthropists.
After graduating from Harvard University at the age of 20, Lemann dabbled in journalism and professional tennis before meeting his current business partners, Carlos Alberto Sicupira and Marcel Herrmann Telles, while working at a small brokerage firm. Five decades and countless savvy investments later, Lemann’s private equity firm, 3G Capital, boasts a portfolio that includes internationally-recognized brands like Anheuser-Busch, Burger King, Heinz, Kraft, SABMiller, and Tim Hortons.
Despite his extensive success in the business world, Lemann came to the realization that fulfilling his entrepreneurial calling was not enough to repay Brazil for the opportunities it had afforded him. In launching his foundation, Lemann created a forum in which he could channel his experience and expertise back into his homeland, helping the people of the world’s fourth-largest democracy unlock their full potential.
Lemann’s nonprofit family foundation invests in driving social change on two fronts. One, the foundation strives to guarantee access to high-quality public education for Brazilians of all backgrounds. Two, the foundation supports the development of leaders committed to the social transformation of Brazil. These efforts take what Lemann learned in the business world — go big, take risks, and above all, invest in people — and apply it to the vision of a brighter, more equitable Brazil.