The Brazilian, who was selected from 56 finalists from 46 countries, is chairman of property developer MRV Engenharia, a company he founded in 1979 with his two brothers.
MRV has built more than 300,000 properties in total and it employs more than 24,000 people. It is the leading builder of low-income housing in Brazil with one in every 200 Brazilians living in a home built by the group.
“It’s not enough to be profitable for shareholders and to give jobs, although this is important,” said Menin. “A company that does not have purpose is not sustainable.”
Menin was the first winner of the competition to come from South America.
“It is important for my country, and especially for the people in Brazil, that we get this recognition,” the Brazilian said.
Last year, MRV recorded net operating income of $1.4 billion (£1.1 billion) and net profit of $197 million (£150 million), according to The Irish Times.
Menin’s victory was announced at a gala ceremony held in the Salle des Étoiles in Monaco last weekend.
The 56 finalists in this year’s EY World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards have combined revenues of $23 billion (£18 billion) and have experienced average growth of 32% over the last three years.