Solution Overview & Team Lead Details

Our Organization

Build up Nepal Engineering

What is the name of your solution?

Build up Nepal

Provide a one-line summary of your solution.

Making low-carbon bricks and safe houses affordable to all.

Film your elevator pitch.

What specific problem are you solving?

Millions of families in South Asia and Nepal suffer from poverty, unsafe housing, and climate change. In Kathmandu and many South Asian cities air pollution have reached dangerous levels. [1]

Poor families in South Asia dream of living in a brick house. But the fired brick industry is a major climate issue responsible for 37% of CO2 emissions from combustion in Nepal, 17% in Bangladesh and 6% in India. Fired bricks is also a major source of black carbon, causing pollution and melting of the Himalayan glacier which supplies drinking water for 1.5 billion South Asians. Additionally poor working conditions, child labour, and hazardous air pollution is widespread[2],[3].

49% of houses in Nepal do not meet the standards for safe housing. As a result, the 2015 Nepal earthquake destroyed 866,207 houses[4] and regular floods continue to destroy homes and lives almost every year. Building new homes remains expensive for low-income households due to costly transport for far-away fired bricks, high quantities of cement for fired brick masonry and ever-increasing material prices.

In Nepal 28.6% of the population lives in poverty, of which 95% reside in rural areas[5] where the lack of jobs and economic opportunity is a causing poor families to migrate on large scale. But despite the challenges millions of families in South Asia are now working their way out of poverty. They dream of living in a brick house. But fired bricks are both unaffordable and leads towards a climate disaster.


[1] ICIMOD - Deteriorating air quality in several South Asian nations including Nepal -

[2] - World Bank, 2020 – Dirty Stacks, High Stakes: An Overview of Brick Sector in South Asia:

[3] - The Guardian, 2015 – Nepal’s Blood Bricks Problem:

[4] - National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) - Data as of 1st of March 2022:

[5] Nepal Planning Commission, 2018. Multidimensional Poverty Index:   

What is your solution?

Build up Nepal is on a mission to replace fired bricks with low-carbon, affordable bricks and make safe houses affordable for all. We have developed a low-carbon brick (the ECO2-brick) made from local material and industrial waste, along with an innovative last-mile delivery model, to bring the technology to scale. 

We have recently developed our new ECO2 brick which is now undergoing final testing. The preliminary results are stronger bricks with less cement content and lower cost. Once our research is complete we will launch this new brick in our existing network of micro enterprises and communities.

Build up Nepal was a finalist for the MIT Solve challenge in 2022. Since then we have developed a new formula for climate friendly bricks significantly reducing cement content, CO2 footprint and cost by using other stabilizers. The new “ECO2-brick” is in final testing stage at our lab (details in the technology section). We plan to launch this brick in the field during 2023 while simultaneously working together with Engineers without borders Sweden and Tribhuvan university in Nepal to develop fully carbon neutral bricks within the next 2 years. This new brick is also making our social enterprise model more sustainable by adding another revenue stream selling stabilizer to our enterprises. 

1) Low-cost, low-carbon bricks


Our ECO2-bricks are interlocking and made from construction and industrial waste mixed with stabilizers and compressed in a machine. Interlocking bricks is a recognized disaster resilient construction technology highly suitable for low-income communities in Nepal. 

Build up Nepal started in 2015 using CSEB (Compressed Stabilized Earth Bricks). Since then we have been consistently striving to innovate new formula of the mix to make the bricks cheaper, stronger with less emissions and utilizing waste materials. Advantages of our ECO2bricks: 

  • 38-48% lower cost for walls.[1]
  • Disaster resistant, ensuring safe houses
  • 85-90% lower Co2 emissions for our ECO2-bricks
  • Creates local jobs, reducing poverty and forced migration

2) Business model innovation
We systematically recruit driven entrepreneurs to start micro construction enterprises. They invest their own money in the machine (on avg. $3000-5000 USD) and hard work, sweat and tears into their enterprises, securing a strong incentive to build, sustain and grow long-term. They source materials, hire workers, produce bricks, and build houses. We provide them with low-cost machines, training, long-term support to ignite each enterprise as a sustainable economic engine in their community.  

During the last six years Build up Nepal have supported more than 300 of micro-enterprises to build 8656 low-carbon houses, creating 3417 jobs and saving 86,386 ton CO2.

3) Ecosystem mobilization: An innovative technology alone is not enough. We have developed a step wise process to engage a wider ecosystem. In contrast to conventional housing projects, our process effectively brings together micro-entrepreneurs, masons, community, and local government to lead the construction of new homes using local materials.

Multiplier effect: The results are self-sustaining enterprises building 10-20 houses per year, creating 8-10 jobs, and saving CO2 emissions year-on-year without external funding. 

[1] Cost comparison CSEB vs fired brick:

Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

Build up Nepal serves poor and low-income rural and semi-urban communities that gain access to safe, affordable homes and improved incomes as entrepreneurs, brick makers, and masons. Additionally, when the next disaster hits, all families will be safe, rich or poor.  


“The shelter was a disaster. My new house is strong, affordable, and beautiful too" – Meena Majhi

1) Poor and low-income families
are the primary target population who dream of having safe homes and stable jobs. Fired bricks are too expensive to transport and build, while our ECO2bricks  are stronger, cheaper and greener solution in comparison. Poor families can afford a disaster resilient house with our eco bricks that will withstand another natural calamity without causalities. Our ECO brick micro enterprise also creates opportunity for poor families to earn a stable income in their own villages. Especially, women who are limited to travel and bound to their household chores can also have a stable income working in our micro enterprises.

2) Rural entrepreneurs
- Our key target group and customers are rural entrepreneurs – driven returning migrants, youth, and disadvantaged groups. They are looking to improve their income while living with their villages with their families. Most youth are forced to migrate to Middle east due to limited economic activity and lack of jobs in rural areas. In search of opportunities to make an income while living in their home towns, they find Build up Nepal. When they see hundreds of micro enterprises in operation, they become motivated to learn about our brick technology and end up starting their own enterprise instead of migrating to Gulf Countries to work in horrible working conditions.

"If a woman like me can start her own brick business, then any woman can…" - Parbati Sunar 

3) Female Entrepreneurs are core target population as women already have limited opportunities compared to the men who can travel, have no household responsibilities other (than financial one), need not provide elderly/children care. Having a small business in their own territory makes it easy for women to balance their domestic responsibilities alongside improving their income stream.  Buildup is supporting 45 women led enterprises till date, we know that women face additional challenges entering construction, a male dominated industry. However, we have experienced with some extra support they can overcome initial challenges and run successful enterprises, driving more women towards financial independence and confidence. 

How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

Build up Nepal already have more than 300 active producers of our bricks and 8656 houses built (2647 in the last year). Our micro-enterprise model has been developed alongside our enterprises and communities. We use human centered design to conduct deep community consultations in the design of the model. Communities know their own problems the best. By incorporating their feedback, inputs, aspirations, and dreams we ensure appropriate design while increasing local ownership and long-term impact. We regularly conduct interviews and focus-groups discussions to collect feedback and improvement suggestions to guide our work.

Build up Nepal – a Strong and Diverse Team
Build up Nepal was founded by social entrepreneurs Björn and Bina in response to the housing-poverty crisis after the devastating 2015 earthquakes in Nepal. Our team of 25 social entrepreneurs, engineers, trainers, masons, and community mobilisers almost all come from rural, and earthquake affected areas and has direct experience of the challenges rural communities face.

Our team consists of a committed executive board, management team, and 25 team members with a commitment and track record of delivering impact and growth at scale.

Management team:

Bina Shrestha, Co-founder & Chief Strategist, social entrepreneur with a 6th sense for strategy.
Björn Söderberg, Co-founder & Managing Director, change-maker with 20 years track record.
Indra Chaurasiya, Civil Engineer & Manager, seasoned engineer with 15 years’ experience.
Aasish Gautam, Civil Engineer & Manager, humanitarian engineer and technical problem solver.
Kajal Pradhan, Civil engineer & project manager - Responsible for M&E & community feedback.
Sushmita Chitrakar, teamleader - Sales and business development

Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Support informal communities in upgrading to more resilient housing, including financing, design, and low-carbon materials or energy sources.

In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?


In what country is your solution team headquartered?

  • Nepal

What is your solution’s stage of development?

Scale: A sustainable enterprise working in several communities or countries that is focused on increased efficiency

How many people does your solution currently serve?

61,440 people through 306 active enterprises, 8565 houses built, and 3417 jobs created.

(Assuming 5 people are positively impacted per enterprise, house, and job).

Why are you applying to Solve?

Build up Nepal is a rapidly growing organization, however, we have several critical challenges before we can reach our goal of making eco brick safe houses affordable to everyone. We are applying because we believe MIT SOLVE support, network, and expertise at this critical stage would help us scale-up faster and with more impact than otherwise possible.

We are specifically looking for support in the following areas:

  • Carbon neutral bricks – we need MIT expertise in material science and engineering to accelerate our R&D efforts to achieve fully carbon neutral bricks. Expertise from MIT in this fields can act as a catalyst to our organisation’s development and scale-up.
  • Monitoring & Evaluation – initiate ‘gold standard’ independent evaluations of our model and technology to gather in-depth data and feedback to guide improvement and scale-up efforts.
  • Financial – most of our funds are earned from selling machines, building schools and public buildings. This stream of revenue is not enough to make extensive research on making our solution more effective and cheaper. The SOLVE award would help us with funds to invest in more R&D and quality control.
  • Advocacy – Green technology is unknown to the common people in Nepal. We could raise awareness about eco bricks and the importance of using green technology with expertise and support in advocacy for enabling policy on green construction.

In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Business Model (e.g. product-market fit, strategy & development)
  • Product / Service Distribution (e.g. delivery, logistics, expanding client base)

Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Björn Söderberg – Co-founder & MD

More About Your Solution

What makes your solution innovative?

Our story – From earthquake rubbles to low-carbon, safe, affordable housing for all

Build up Nepal has achieved more than we could ever have imagined when starting out. In the aftermath of the 2015 earthquake, we decided to develop a cost-effective method to build safe houses to avoid such disasters in the future. During the initial two years we worked in small scale NGO funded projects building schools and houses. We quickly learnt that the projects were not scalable and could be much more cost effective.

We pivoted and started working directly with local entrepreneurs instead. This made the model highly scalable as they invest their own money, securing a strong incentive to operate and sustain long-term. But the pivot came with its own set of challenges. Rural entrepreneurs do not have much savings or access to finance. We had to rapidly reduce the cost of all our deliveries – machines, training, support, and other services. This has been hard, especially while also ensuring quality and supporting each enterprise to succeed, but the results are worth it.

Eight years after the earthquake we have developed a micro-enterprise model for low-carbon, affordable housing that really works. Essentially, we empower local micro-enterprises to make attractive, high-quality bricks that are both AFFORDABLE (key driver for mass adoption) and ECO-FRIENDLY, igniting a GREEN shift in South Asia’s dirty brick industry. Our 306 enterprises to date have already built 8656 houses, saving 86,386 ton CO2. See Build up Nepal’s independent evaluations and impact on  

Build up Nepal is an organization in continuous development. We started out with a tried-and-tested technology (CSEB) and have modified and adapted it to local and modern conditions. We now have a technology that is cheaper, stronger, and better than traditional bricks. Together with local entrepreneurs and communities we have created a model to take it to scale. We are about to launch our ECO2-bricks which are both cheaper and with lower emissions and working to develop fully carbon neutral bricks. The next step is to expand to replicate the model across Nepal and South Asia.

What are your impact goals for the next year and the next five years, and how will you achieve them?

By 2023/24 we aim to:

  • Support 400 enterprises to build 11,000 houses for low-income families.
  • Launch our ECO2-bricks reducing our own emissions by 50% further.
  • Saving 125,000-ton CO2 Emissions
  • Create 4500 full-time jobs  
  • Launch a new solution for access-to-finance for eco-brick entrepreneurs.

To scale up, and to achieve our goals, we're addressing six key bottlenecks/challenges:

1) Build trust & systematic quality control
The reputation of our technology is built with the quality of each house. We are working to build a systematic quality control system across the country. This includes setting up compression testers in key locations, to train government engineers, to scale up our training-for-trainers program for masons and pilot a remote engineering service for quality control.

2) Help each enterprise succeed
Each successful enterprise inspires another to start. Those who fail have the opposite effect. We work to help each enterprise to succeed. Besides technical training in production and construction we train government engineers in their area and facilitate connection between the enterprise, local government, masons, and contractors. We train them in marketing and provide sales videos and cost calculations.

3) Access to finance
Access to finance is a major challenge for low-income entrepreneurs, youth and women in particular. We are in process of setting up a credit-guarantee fund along with a major bank to give our entrepreneurs access to collateral free loans and good interest rates.

4) Reduce/replace cement and create out own stabilizer
Our new ECO2brick is not only reducing the cement content of our bricks and reducing cost for the entrepreneur. It is also creating a new revenue stream for Build up Nepal with the production of each brick.

5) Build our team Our team is amazing at creating impact on-the ground, but to scale-up we need to build a team who can work more systematically. We will recruit new team members and develop internal resources to provide more structure and technical knowledge.

6) Government policy We are collaborating with the Shelter Cluster in Nepal and the World Bank to advocate for the government of Nepal to consider climate impact and Emission factors when choosing construction materials for government buildings. Nepal have recently committed in an NDA to the Paris agreement to “reduce emissions from the brick and construction industry” so this is our opportunity to create positive policy level change.

Build up Nepal 5 year goals

i) Scale-up across the region, training 900 enterprises to build 60,000 houses, creating 10,000 jobs.
ii) Replace 5% of fired bricks in Nepal and reduce the national CO2 emissions by 1.5%
iii) Develop and launch carbon neutral bricks in South Asia
iv) Reach financial sustainability without grant funding

Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 1. No Poverty
  • 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • 9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  • 13. Climate Action

How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

Build up Nepal is working in close contact with the enterprises and communities we support. During 2018-2020 we worked in collaboration with SPRING Accelerator (funded by USaid/DFID/DFAT) to develop a robust M&E system. We systematically track the following KPIs:

# Active enterprises
# bricks produced
# CO2 emissions saved
# houses and schools built
# people trained
# jobs created and sustained

Inclusivity: % women, youth, returning migrants, and disadvantaged groups as entrepreneurs, brick-makers, masons, and beneficiaries.
We summarize all our impact and M&E on our website:

Data is collected through a 3rd party survey every year. Last year our partner Center for Research and Development (CERAD) interviewed more than 100 enterprises in the field and all others were interviewed over phone. Read the 2022 report:   We also rely on 3rd party evaluations to measure our specific impact:

What is your theory of change?



EvidenceSummary of findings from recent independent evaluations:

2022 Impact Assessment Survey by CERAD and Yunus Social Business Center:

288 entrepreneurs across all 7 provinces in Nepal took part in the study. 50% of the surveyed entrepreneurs belong to disadvantaged groups. During the review period (May 2021 - May 2022), the 288 enterprises built 2647 houses and replaced 38,913,546 fired bricks - 0.78% of the total nr of bricks used in Nepal.

“After visiting the entrepreneurs, it is clear that this technology has good potential in Nepal. It is cost-effective and fits with the aspiration of low-income families to live in a brick house.
We have observed that CSEB bricks are predominantly used for low-cost housing and low-cost construction and within this market, it has a great scope to replace traditional clay-fired bricks. Especially in small towns and rural areas…”

End Line Survey NABIN Project (2018-2021) by So Tech Engineering:
With the financial support from Nordic Climate Facility a consortium of Dan Church Aid, Practical Action Nepal and Build Up Nepal implemented the project “New and Affordable Building Materials Promoting Sustainability” in 19 districts of Nepal. By the end of the project a total 96 enterprises were established of which 75 % were in good or moderate operational condition.

Key findings:

  • Out of total sample enterprises, 32% was led by female entrepreneurs.
  • The project trained 635 masons and 86% reported that they found CSEB a cost-effective technology.
  • The project created employment to 384 persons directly of which 26% were women.
  • The project has contributed to a reduction of 9,957 tCO2 through the production of 3,608,600 CSEB used in the construction of 1,443 houses.
  • CSEB technology is well aligned with major National policy and plans of Nepal and regarded as appropriate construction technology in terms of cost, design, and strength.


In DFID Nepal’s annual review 2018 Build up Nepal’s project with Practical Action “Strengthening reconstruction supply-chain” secured A+ rating. Key findings:

“The new enterprises were able to use locally sourced materials, create opportunities for skills development and income generation, and reduce the dependency on conventional building materials like cement and fire bricks. Adoption of new technology in rural areas is always a challenge and despite these challenges, more than 600 CSEB homes were built...”

“… we can safely conclude that the project has been very successful in supplying low-cost construction materials to the neediest and most affected, in building skills and capacities of entrepreneurs and employees, and in developing market systems and private sector enterprises”. (Conclusion, page 33)


See the summary of each independent evaluation here: 

Interviews with target population:

Interviews with female entrepreneurs: ,

Interviews with male and youth entrepreneurs: ,

Interviews with families that have built their homes with CSEB: , , ,

Describe the core technology that powers your solution.

When started our work in 2015 we used CSEB (Compressed Stabilized Earth Bricks) with 10% cement but we have gradually changed the formula of the mix making it stronger, cheaper, with less emissions and utilizing waste materials. 

Our new ECO2-bricks are made from:
- Stone dust (a by-product from crushing of aggregates) or Sand + Soil
- Industrial ashes, Lime, Chemical stabilizer & Natural fibers*
- 5% Portland Cement
* Details can be provided to SOLVE upon request, but not shared publicly.

This new mix is the result of a research conducted together with Build up Nepal, Tribhuvan University in Nepal, Engineers without borders Sweden. The resulting bricks are on average 5% stronger and cost 10% less than traditional CSEB. The reduction of cement in the brick mix significantly reduces our CO2 emissions. Limes is burned at much lower temperatures than cement and also re-captures CO2 from the atmosphere while curing making it close to carbon neutral. ( The industrial ashes further reduce cement content without adding CO2 emissions and finally the fibers increase bonding and compressive strength.

When building the bricks interlock just like LEGO. Vertical rebar is anchored in the foundation and placed evenly throughout the walls, connected with horizontal seismic bands interconnecting the house, making it highly earthquake resistant and reducing cost of construction.


In flood prone areas the foundation is also raised to avoid the effects of monsoon flooding, intensified by climate change.

- Bricks are made locally, reduces transport costs. 
- The “LEGO” system is fast, reduces manpower
- Mortar is poured through the holes, reduces cement mortar by 75%
- The surface  is smooth, No need to plaster, paint directly on the bricks.
- Thinner walls – 30% less materials used for walls and seismic bands.

As a result our walls cost 37.7 – 47.9% less to build.
SOURCE: Cost effectiveness of Interlocking bricks in Nepal by Resilient Engineers report:

Interlocking bricks is a recognized disaster resilient construction technology. Nepal approved the Interlocking brick technology in 2017. It is also approved in India, Thailand, Malaysia, New Mexico, New Zealand among other countries.

Innovative manual machines: In Nepal due to poor infrastructure large scale production not feasible. In the last 5 years we have worked together with Engineers Without Borders to develop effective, off-grid machines. Our manual machines are now nearly as effective as smaller hydraulic machines. This enables production of low-carbon, affordable bricks to be produced locally.  

Social media: Roughly 13 million (45%) of Nepal’s population use social media. Build up Nepal has leveraged social media as an effective platform to reach our targets groups. Through engaging awareness raising and marketing campaigns we reach entrepreneurs, stakeholders, and end-customers looking to build houses. To date we have created a following of more than 650,000 people on our social media pages (

Mobile app: In response to the pandemic, we developed a mobile app that makes it easy for entrepreneurs and stakeholders to access videos, checklists, and training and marketing materials. It also features a cost calculator which quickly estimates the cost of your house as well as M&E functions for Build up Nepal staff, directly uploading data from the field to our online M&E database.

App store:

Google play:

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new business model or process that relies on technology to be successful

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Manufacturing Technology
  • Materials Science
  • Software and Mobile Applications

In which countries do you currently operate?

  • Nepal

In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • Nepal
Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

Hybrid of for-profit and nonprofit

How many people work on your solution team?

25 full time staff, 306 entepreneurs (contractors)

How long have you been working on your solution?

7 years

What is your approach to incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusivity into your work?

Diversity in Build up Nepal leadership and team

We believe that diversity, inclusion, and equity is very important and makes our work easier and more efficient. Nepal is a very diverse country, where hundreds of ethnic groups and cultures co-exist. To be grow long-term we need to be in tune with our stakeholders and society at large.

Our leadership and team reflect the diversity of Nepal. This is particularly important and ensures different points of views, life experiences and ideas in strategic decision making. Most regions and the largest ethnic groups are represented in our team, such as Janjaati, Madhesi Tharu, Dalit, Brahmin, and Chettri. Our team has direct experience of the earthquake and challenges faced in poor, rural areas. Some team members have attended university (managers, engineers, etc.), however, most have been recruited from the communities where we operate where they learnt their skills hands-on.

We work in a wide variety of regions and communities. What might be a suitable solution in a poor community made up of different ethnic groups might not be suitable when we are working in a marginalized Dalit community or in an urban community. If this diversity is not reflected in our team, it would be too easy to make poor decisions in both small and large.

Code of conduct and policies

Build up Nepal has a comprehensive code of conduct and policies for anti-discrimination and equal opportunities, training and development in place, which guides how we incorporate and advance diversity, equity and inclusivity. As part of our recruitment process, we provide training for new staff. We also encourage ongoing feedback from employees. However, we also recognize that a policy is only as good as it is implemented. Therefore, we focus our attention on HANDS-ON implementation and fostering an organizational culture that values and nurtures diversity, inclusion, and equity:

  • Recruiting and empowering a diverse team and leadership
  • Recruiting and empowering diverse entrepreneurs – offering additional support for youth, women, and disadvantaged groups
  • Inclusive trainings – systematically engaging and advancing ALL GROUPS
  • Continuously encourage feedback from employees, entrepreneurs, and target groups
  • Encourage and train entrepreneurs on importance and advantages of hiring women and disadvantaged groups in the enterprises

Inclusive brick and construction sector

We focus particularly on including women and disadvantaged groups in trainings - which are always held in the village itself enabling all groups to easily participate. We also pay a small incentive for women to attend trainings, encouraging the entrepreneurs to include women. This means that when male workers suddenly migrate (common problem) the entrepreneurs will have access to already trained women. Build up Nepal’s experience supporting more than 100 enterprises led by women and disadvantaged  groups shows it is possible to overcome barriers and engage women and disadvantaged groups in construction.

Your Business Model & Funding

What is your business model?

Our business model is to sell machines and training to local entrepreneurs, so that they can start a small enterprise to build houses in their community. The enterprises recruit local people, procure raw materials, make bricks, and build houses. Build up Nepal is working to make each enterprise succeed, remove bottlenecks, and promote the technology.


ENTREPRENEURS – 40% of total revenue
The core of our business model is to sell machines and training to local entrepreneurs (avg. investment: $3000-5000 USD per entrepreneur).

Build up Nepal takes construction contracts to build houses, schools and other public buildings in rural areas, which is combined with training for contractors, masons, and engineers, boosting the visibility of the technology and the long-term prospects of the enterprises.

We also partner with NGOs and international funders to implement high-impact projects creating enterprises, jobs and building climate-friendly houses. 

Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Individual consumers or stakeholders (B2C)

What is your plan for becoming financially sustainable?

In 2018, 40% of Build up Nepal’s revenue came from entrepreneurs and construction contracts and 60% from grant funded projects. In the last fiscal year, 76% of our revenue was from sales and only 24% was from grant-funded projects.

A weakness in our current model is that our revenue from entrepreneurs is only generated when they purchase a new machine and training package or when they scale up with more equipment. We need a revenue closely tied to the success of our enterprises, with each brick sold and house built. 

SALES OF STABILIZER – Starting in 2023 Once we launch our ECO2brick Build up Nepal will start selling stabilizer to our enterprises. In the past year our enterprises sold 9,265,130 bricks. Cement is the biggest cost for our entrepreneurs, and our new stabilizer will be cheaper. Replacing 50% in the cement in the bricks with our own stabilizer would significantly increase our total revenue and make our model fully self-sustaining within the next 3-4 years. 

International Scaling Strategy: We realize that the only way to reach mass scale is to enable others to replicate our model. Our international scaling strategy is to find, train, and transfer our knowledge to reliable partners with strong local presence in other countries. Then we plan to ship our machines and stabilizer to them and provide ongoing support while they market and sell the machines, provide training and support to local entrepreneurs. We believe access to MIT’s network could be catalytic for us in expanding our network and presence internationally. 

Share some examples of how your plan to achieve financial sustainability has been successful so far.

Build up Nepal is a social business that is growing organically through revenue generated primarily from sales to entrepreneurs and construction contracts. We also partner with international funders and NGOs to deliver high impact projects (key partners to date include DFAT,  Engineers Without Borders, USAID Building green project, Nordic Climate Facility, Ashden, BPF Belgium, Catholic Relief Services, Practical Action, and Oxfam).

In FY July 2021 – July 2022, Build up Nepal generated $1,024,000 in turnover from:
Sales of machines and training to local entrepreneurs: $414,000 
Construction contracts (schools, hospitals, houses for the poorest): $373,000
Project contracts with NGOs and international funders: $237,000

The best example of our sustainability is that the revenue from our enterprises and construction contracts have been growing steadily. Our enterprises themselves are self sustained. 95% of the houses built are paid for by local families without any donor support. 

The last piece of the puzzle is for Build up Nepal to launch our stabilizer creating an additional revenue stream with each brick sold (while reducing cost for the entrepreneurs). 

We hope that you will join us on our mission to replace dirty fired bricks with low-carbon CSEB bricks, creating affordable homes and long-term jobs across Nepal and South Asia. 

Solution Team

  • Mrs Bina Shrestha Co-founder, Build up Nepal Engineering
  • Björn Söderberg Managing Director, Build up Nepal Engineering
to Top