About us

Raízes is a social business that creates and implements projects to promote territorial development and social transformation.

We believe in entrepreneurship and networking as the basis of our vision! We support the development of initiatives and businesses connected to the generation of social value and regeneration of the planet. As such, we act in synergy with the Sustainable Development Goals 5 (gender equity), 8 (fair work) and 10 (reduction of inequalities).

We exist to identify and shed light on the best of people and places: their riches to be fostered!

We exist to inspire companies, institutions and people to develop creative solutions to complex problems.

We exist to articulate and connect initiatives, people and ideas for interdependent and sustainable development.

Our team

Raízes knows that as important as good projects and initiatives are, it is people that make them happen! That is why we are so proud to bring together competent, committed and above all engaged people in our team. Staff at Raizes accumulate different skills and experiences, but above all, they share a huge desire to change the world!

Our history

Raízes Sustainable Development emerged from a collective dream that remains to this day: to use tourism as a development vector. To get us to where we are today, a lot has happened over the last 15+ years. The idea came about at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), from the encounter between Mariana Madureira and Marianne Costa, who first created, in 2003, a junior company that awakened in them the willingness to become entrepreneurs.

Get to know our history

Recognizing the soil

Raízes was created in 2006 as a result of the entrepreneurial spirit of 2 tourism graduate lady friends. Our roots began to expand and garner recognition and, before long, we added tourism-associated production to our growing list of expertise.

In 2008 we expanded into social business, and in 2009 we launched our first own project – which later on earned us the Social Entrepreneur Award of the Future, promoted by the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper.

The first bud

This is how, in 2009, our income generation project sprouted in the Jequitinhonha Valley, in Minas Gerais, our birthplace.

We have impacted women and families from more than 20 local communities, initially with a fair-trade craft project in the region. We went on to co-create (with the artisans) the community-based tourism itinerary Do Barro à Arte (From Clay to Art). 

Our little plant then got split  in two, and today the itinerary is conducted by Vivejar, a spin-off conceived by Marianne, who at the time decided to resign as one of the 2 founding-partners of Raizes.

Branches emerged

Little by little, we saw our branches grow stronger. In 2014, we were certified as a B Company and became part of a global network of leaders who use their businesses to build a more inclusive, equitable and regenerative economical system for the people and the planet. Our network of collaborators and consultants continues to expand, including a new partner, Jussara.

Leaves sprouting in another part of the world

In 2016, our leaves crossed the Atlantic Ocean and led us to the first international performance. In Cape Verde, Africa, we started helping business initiatives and innovative projects to develop rural tourism for the Rota de Aldeias (Rural Villages Route) from Santo Antão Project.

That same year we worked with the United Nations Environment Programme – UNEP in a campaign for sustainable tourism at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Our blossoms, what are they?

Little did we know that the following year, we would start a new project full of meaning: the Owner of My Flow. This beautiful partnership with Korui Life Cycles are our little blossoms – as expressed in the logo of the initiative. The goal is to combat menstrual poverty in Brazil by empowering girls and women. We firstly promote a safe exchange environment to combat the taboos around menstruation and then make the donation of menstrual cups.

Bearing fruits

Over the past few years, we have had the pleasure of seeing our stem grow and reaping various fruits. We specialize in accelerating small businesses and have started to contribute to sociobiodiversity, through mentoring, incubation and acceleration programs as drivers of the ecosystem impact, alongside large companies in Brazil and the rest of the world.

That said…

We provide solutions to various problems using sustainability as a premise. We believe that through our projects, we can translate all the potency we have acquired over these years of history and plural narratives. We invite you to come with us!


Here at Raízes we have been recognized through several national and international awards. We believe that these convey credibility and extend the scope of our impact, as they increase the confidence of our customers and partners in the purpose and seriousness of the work we do.

We recommend Raízes Sustainable Development for the level of performance demonstrated by professionals Mariana Madureira and Marianne Costa during their tenure as consultants for the Arara Azul Institute, an entity supported by the Toyota Foundation.

A diagnosis of the institution and a Strategic Planning focused on the financial sustainability of the entity were developed, along with local managers. The work developed brought very satisfactory results.

George Costa e SilvaDirector of the Toyota Foundation

She (Jussara) held meetings with all the people from the Secretariat (of Tourism from the State of Maranhão), telling them the importance of fully embracing the job at hand, and she ended up uncovering values, re-energizing people you know? She reinvigorated the Secretariat. Actually, that's the term. She helped us build up our self-esteem. She made us believe that we were able to do it technically. So, to me, the passage of Raizes through the Department of Tourism of Maranhão was extremely fruitful for us.

Glória PintoSuperintendent of Sectur Maranhão

Vale's Reparation Board has a very large and difficult responsibility to fulfill, so every step in the right direction represents the reaffirmation of the company's commitment to communities and its respect for the people. As part of the process, I am very pleased when we see the projects happening and people engaging in them! Change is possible, we just need to believe and make it happen! Congratulations and thanks for the support time, Roots Sustainable Development!

Nildo FrasãoVale Territory Manager

Throughout my career, I have come to know how difficult, arduous but rewarding it is to seek (or at least try to) change the world in which we live. And it's amazing to look around and see Raizes turning 15. It is an admirable story of grit and professionalism, all with so much affection and so much commitment. It is great to be remembered and to be part of the history of so many strong, inspiring women who show that our future is built collectively, side by side.

Luís Tadeu AssadPresident of the Brazil Sustainable Environmental Institute-IABS

Some of our clients

Do you identify with our purpose and believe that our services can help you and your organization achieve the impact you crave?