(MIF) March 29, 2012 –The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Dutch Development Bank (FMO), and The Nature Conservancy have launched the next stage of a venture capital fund that directs capital to community-based sustainable businesses to promote innovative market solutions that benefit the rural poor and preserve critical ecosystems.
The fund has a capitalization of $20.5 million. Other investors include the Hivos-Triodos Fund, Oikocredit, Calvert Foundation and family foundations.
Built upon a strong foundation of leadership, a decade of experience and a successful portfolio of investments, EcoEnterprises Fund II will provide expansion capital to small sustainable businesses, so they may generate livelihoods for rural communities and preserve ecosystems for future generations.
Since 2000, EcoEnterprises Fund has established itself as an entrepreneur and a pioneer in impact investing. It spent the last decade supporting sustainable businesses in Latin America, and has demonstrated that such businesses can be influential actors in biodiversity and environmental protection and help transform local economies. EcoEnterprises Fund provides investors with an opportunity to generate financial gains through positive environmental and social returns.
EcoEnterprises’ first fund, launched jointly in 2000 by the MIF and The Nature Conservancy, invested $6.3 million in 23 sustainable companies throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Its portfolio companies are market leaders that have introduced an array of cutting-edge, environmentally-friendly products: from organic shrimp to organic spices, from FSC-certified furniture to pesticide-free, biodynamic flowers, and smoothies made from the açaí palm berry. Collectively, these businesses have delivered impressive results. They have created 3,513 jobs, benefited 293 communities and conservation groups; generated $281 million in sales; leveraged $138 million in additional capital; and conserved 860,773 hectares of land.
The MIF played a catalytic role supporting this first fund, a first of its kind for the region. The financing for the second stage is part of the MIF’s strategy to stimulate the venture capital industry in Latin America and the Caribbean focusing on impact and sustainable investments.
EcoEnterprises Fund II builds on these results and will target companies at the next stage of business growth, providing expansion capital and advisory support to help ramp up operations and bring results to scale. Companies eligible to receive financing must be incorporated commercial entities that employ sound environmental and social practices in their operations, provide positive benefits to communities, and meet rigorous environmental, social, and financial criteria. Investment size ranges from $500,000 to $3 million, with an average investment of $2.5 million.
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