Impact Investing in Latin America and the Caribbean
Established in 2013, the eco.business fund provides financing to banks to support local enterprises delivering social and environmental benefit in Latin America and the Caribbean. The premise of the fund is that businesses can be profitable and provide value to people and the planet, and that this triple bottom line approach should be supported and enhanced. Target sectors are agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture, forestry, and tourism. Target beneficiaries are those that historically have not had access to debt financing – the “missing middle”. While providing direct loans would also fill this gap, working through local financial institutions helps to expand the model and potentially increase the amount of financing and flows of capital to this underserved population.
EcoAdvisors was contracted by eco.business fund to develop an impact diligence tool to help identify potential investments that comply with the mission of the fund. The basis for this tool is sustainability standards that are independently developed, assigned and verified. EcoAdvisors assessed over 200 standards. The tool evaluates compatibility and mission alignment and can be modified based on user needs. The purpose of the tool is twofold: to identify potential investments that conform to eco.business fund’s mission and to identify gaps in other investments that can be assessed with streamlined diligence questionnaires.
The goal is to deploy 350M in direct impact finance and leverage local banks to establish programs to support these types of enterprise.