Getting to Know: Lew Schulman of iBuild

FeaturedLew Schulman headshot

Dynamic. Innovative. Experienced. These are just some of the words commonly used to describe Lew Schulman, a serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, and speaker who makes keen investments.

Lew currently acts as Chairman of the Board for iBUILD Global, inc. This is a mobile application that empowers the poor by giving them fair access to work while also facilitating a transparent ecosystem of support in a bid to both improve security and the dignity of shelter.

Lew Schulman headshot
Founder of iBUILD, Lew Schulman

Lew Schulman with iBuild also currently acts at the Managing Trustee for the Builders of Hope Kenya Trust, which again hopes to create affordable housing through a series of both public and private partnerships that are forged upon sustainable growth and interaction with local communities.

Launching a Career

Lew’s early career began in the military when he entered active duty in the US Navy. A hard-working and motivated individual, he excelled in an environment that demands the best each and every day.

After concluding his period serving with the military, Mr. Schulman then used his ingenuity to create an innovative lending model for plaintiffs who found themselves out of work due to unfortunate traumatic injuries.

The idea was driven by passion and a keen understanding of a complex area, and Lew sold the growing business to a private equity group before beginning the next chapter in his life. Equipped with his broad perspective, he worked to create fishing co-ops in South and Central America which exported products to the US.

Small loans and training were provided to the local population in order to both improve the yield and help them to develop sustainable practices that protect both the environment and workers. This network of villages grew to employ hundreds of local workers who hailed from across two continents.

Focusing on Shelter

Having already amassed a range of exciting and inspiring experiences, Lew turned his attention to affordable housing. Lew understands that shelter is an essential facet of life and one that needs to be satisfied if communities are to flourish and provide opportunities to its members.

Lew set about pioneering a range of innovative housing strategies in the US, helping to build thousands of affordable homes within traditionally disinvested community that are home to culturally diverse populations. This expertise was then ultimately used throughout Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the US were pioneered as a part of this work and this initiative has helped to permanently transform many lives for the better. The initiative continues to this day and is used as an important framework and method of helping various members of communities to secure the housing that can improve the livelihoods and give them the security that they need.

Powering Up with Technology

Again taking stock and calling upon his previous experiences, Lew set about co-founding a technology company called iBUILD Global. This company create an end-to-end mobile platform for the housing construction space in developing countries. The initiative garnered immediate interest from a range of providers, earning funding from both IBM and the MasterCard Innovation Labs.

By empowering the world to build, iBUILD is helping to stimulate the housing construction capacity of communities around the world. There is a global demand for affordable housing that the platform is helping to address, relying upon an elegant fintech solution to empower an untapped workforce.

The app allows all of the stakeholders to transact and cooperate in a secure and transparent environment that formalizes and demystifies the construction process to help make it a vibrant and organized ecosystem.

two iBUILD construction workers shoveling gravel with Lew Schulman for new housing
iBuild workers in Kenya development project

Driven by Lasting Results

Equipped with a cutting vision and the ability to execute on ideas as part of a team, Lew is committed to his role as the Chairman of the Board and he relishes the opportunity to help have a positive global impact each and every day.

Working alongside a deeply passionate team, Lew helps to keep the iBUILD platform functioning and helping communities around the world. The platform has a powerful vision for the future which Lew helps to inform.

Lew Schulman with iBuild is deeply passionate about the project and each day he calls upon his previous experiences and his deep-rooted sense of conviction in order to help drive the project forward and improve lives.

Lew Schulman of iBuild Discusses the Countries iBuild is Currently Deployed and the transformation iBUILD is creating in those Markets

By the year 2025, there will be 8.1 billion humans living on earth. Today, the global landscape already struggles to provide adequate shelter for all people. Lew Schulman and iBUILD are looking to put the power in the hands of the people to take on the global housing crisis in the countries that need it most. Lew Schulman of iBUILD identified that conventional private sector development methodologies weren’t going to get the job done.

iBUILD is a mobile enabled marketplace disruption tool that organizes and connects people in need of housing and shelter with masses of construction-related people looking for work and facilitates open access to housing support mobile enabled tools that guide individuals through the housing (re)construction process. iBUILD has already launched in the following countries:

  • Kenya
  • India
  • South Africa
  • Nigeria
  • Indonesia

Kenya is where Lew Schulman and iBUILD first launched. As the first test market, the works of country-level ambassadors was instrumental in identifying key partners and stakeholders across the Kenyan housing and construction industry. Thanks to iBUILD, it’s never been easier for the people of Kenya to find construction jobs or the best rates on a mortgage. The work in Kenya was proof positive that every individual could indeed have the power to improve the security and adequacy of their own shelter.

Lew Schulman in Kenya

Lew Schulman and iBUILD entered the Indian market in a partnership with Mahindra Rural Housing Finance Limited. Now, through the iBUILD Global platform, Mahindra can utilize technology that allows all customers to hire skilled contractors, artisans, laborers and more to find reliable supplies for their housing projects.

iBUILD broke into South Africa through a partnership with Sofala Capital. iBUILD launched in Cape Town. Sofala’s iBUILD home business processes allow all customers to receive virtual loan disbursements for all their home construction projects. There’s currently a sizable gap in the nation’s affordable housing inventory and iBUILD will have a direct hand in changing that.

Nigeria’s population is booming, and the housing demand is much higher than what is currently on pace to be built. iBUILD is looking to jumpstart the construction marketplace and creating an ecosystem for connectivity and transparency amongst the public, lenders, developers, workers, contractors, suppliers and more.

Finally, Indonesia has seen a collaboration between iBUILD and The World Bank, Habitat for Humanity, UN Habitat and The IFC as well as government ministries from a variety of countries in Africa, India and Southeast Asia. The data and analytics component of iBUILD is already starting to make a difference in understanding the individual housing demand as well as the construction marketplace and the strengths and weaknesses of the housing construction value chain. Unimpeachable, real-time data is immensely valuable in exposing market strengths and weaknesses and helps those agencies around the world prescribe better policies to incentivize growth in the housing/construction markets.

Lew Schulman Explains the Rising Demand for Affordable Housing Around the Globe

Lew Schulman of iBuild with mockup of house

As a philanthropist and entrepreneur, Lew Schulman is passionate about his role as the Chairman of the Board for iBUILD Global, Inc. iBuild Global Inc. a mobile application that empowers the poor by giving them fair access to work and makes the bidding process completely transparent for all parties involved. Lew Schulman strongly believes that the world is headed towards a housing crisis unless we as a global community act fast to help our fellow man and woman. Today, Lew Schulman will explain the rising demand for affordable housing around the globe and offer his thoughts on what can be done to help those in need.

The world population currently projects at a staggering 7.2 billion. Even more stunning – current projections state that this number will balloon to 8.1 billion by 2025. Obviously, this leads to a rise in demand for affordable housing. Unfortunately, the current trends in urbanization and income growth suggest that the affordable housing gap will grow from 330 million households currently to 440 million by the middle of the next decade. If we continue down our current path, this would leave 1.6 billion people who are either homeless or living in substandard housing. This is a crisis, which much be addressed head on.

Another large factor to consider when examining these numbers is global warming. The rising temperatures can impact areas, which currently house the wealthy. If these people are displaced due to climate issues, they will migrate to other areas, which will grow in demand. Prices will rise and affordable housing will become even harder to obtain. Lew Schulman believes the current scarcity of affordable housing will only become scarcer in the future and that conventional private sector development technologies are not capable of finding a solution.

Due to a lack of regulation and transparency in the construction industry around the globe, substandard housing solutions are an epidemic. Lew Schuman says that iBUILD is the disruptive technology that can truly help connect people looking for work with facilities looking to build homes all over the globe. iBUILD provides open and fair access to locals and a transparent ecosystem of support for customers looking to access mortgages and more. The goal is simple: a mobile wallet solution so that every individual has the power to transact and immediately improve the security and adequacy of their own shelter according to their unique individual needs.

It’s no longer enough to just talk about things society can do in the future to improve things. Lew Schuman believes the time to start changing the future is here.