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America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs

3 Apr 2009

Green Coast Enterprises

Will Bradshaw, 32, and Reuben Teague, 33
New Orleans, La.

Will Bradshaw had spent seven years working on a business plan for a company to build affordable, environmentally friendly housing when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August 2005. The MIT grad student went to work on the recovery that fall, and began to form his business idea around making buildings in hot coastal regions more energy-efficient and durable in storms by using steel frames instead of wood. In 2007, he launched Green Coast Enterprises with Reuben Teague, a law clerk who had moved to New Orleans a week before the storm. The real estate development firm has two missions: to prove their concept by building storm-resistant buildings, and to develop practices that can be adapted to make more resilient structures in similar regions around the world. So far they have 24 units completed at a cost of $7 million in New Orleans. That includes four condo units they developed and sold or leased themselves, and 20 homes built for the nonprofit Project Home Again to house residents who lost their homes in the storm. Green Coast Enterprises had $180,000 in revenue in 2008, and sales contracts for $290,000 so far this year, with $550,000 in assets they hope to move into sales and leases in 2009.