The Foundation

Norberto Odebrecht

Learn more about Norberto Odebrecht's legacy

Norberto Odebrecht with young people from the Southern Bahia Lowlands

Entrepreneur, educational leader and humanitarian. With a life defined by the ethos of service and dedicated to people, Norberto Odebrecht, our founder, achieved not only growth of the business that he led, but also made significant contributions to the development of hundreds of cities throughout Brazil and around the world, taking social transformation to communities and families.

Born on October 9, 1920 in Recife (PE), in the Northeast region of Brazil, Norberto Odebrecht is the son of Emílio and Hertha Odebrecht, born in Santa Catarina and with German ancestry. An engineer graduated from the Polytechnic School of the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), he learned the art of entrepreneurship from an early age, becoming one of the biggest names in the country in the field of construction.

More than a businessman, Norberto Odebrecht built his legacy as a leading educator, with education for life and work as the guide for his way of leading. Attentive to the formation of new generations, the visionary left Odebrecht Entrepreneurial Technology (TEO) as one of his greatest legacies, in which he systematized in a series of books the principles, concepts and criteria that are the basis of the Novonor Group's culture.

One of its most striking facets, however, is that of being human. Norberto Odebrecht understood and defended the development of people through the generation of opportunities. Throughout his life, he dedicated himself to the social side in several ways. Two of the best known are alongside Sister Dulce, canonized in 2019 as Santa Dulce dos Pobres, who became a consultant and friend of the engineer. Another way in which the visionary dedicated himself to solving the problems that originated in the social and economic structure was through the Norberto Odebrecht Foundation, an institution created by him in 1965.

With his foundation, Norberto looked for ways to significantly improve the life of the Brazilian worker. Subsequently, he focused his energies on the adolescent population, understanding that the young person has the potential to transform the reality around him as he consolidates himself as a human being. Aiming at creating a sustainable territorial development model aimed at young people in the countryside, it instituted the PDCIS, a social program that we have coordinated until today.

On July 14, 2014, Norberto Odebrecht passed away in Salvador (BA). We, who assumed his name in 2021 as a way of honoring his legacy, remain committed to the quest to fight poverty and inequality, aiming at building a more responsible, harmonious, solidary society with equal opportunities for all.

Watch the video below and discover the pages of a book that Norberto Odebrecht did not write with words: he wrote by example!


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