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Press release
May 22, 2019

FinDev Canada invests in EcoEnterprises fund to support sustainable SMEs in Latin America

Press Releases

The women-led fund offers investments for sustainable agriculture and agroforestry SMEs in Latin America

Expected Development Impact

Market Development

  • Strengthening local SMEs and employment: The Fund will exclusively focus on providing growth financing using a variety of instruments to mainly locally-owned and -led SMEs and providing hands-on support to help SMEs in operational and governance areas that are key for successful growth. These SMEs will in turn support thousands of local jobs and suppliers, including in rural areas, the exact numbers of which will be quantified during monitoring of the investment.
  • Economic value addition: Fund investments in up to ~18 SMEs will also generate economic value in local markets, through salary payments, taxes, and profits. FinDev Canada estimates that by 2028 the Fund’s activities may generate up to USD $4.3 million in additional local economic value added.
  • Mobilizing other investors: The Fund also expects that its activities will allow its SME clients to attract up to USD 250 million in additional financing.

Empowering women in governance, leadership and employment

The Fund Manager is owned and led by women and employs a majority of women. The Manager is also committed to inclusive gender practices

Women’s Economic Empowerment

  • Empowering women in governance, leadership and employment in the private equity/debt sector: The Fund Manager is owned and led by women, including the CEO and COO, and employs a majority of women. The Manager is also committed to inclusive gender practices in its own business.
  • Building internal fund capacity on women’s economic empowerment: The Fund Manager has completed the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs)3 Gaps Analysis Tool and will continue to build its internal capacity to support women’s economic empowerment through its portfolio companies, including the opportunities below.
  • Creating good-quality jobs for women: The Manager’s experience in previous funds indicates that women could comprise up to 50% of all jobs created and supported by the SMEs financed, as well as by their suppliers, which could mean up to 1,000 jobs for women over the life of the Fund. FinDev Canada will also support the Fund to measure qualitative elements of job quality, such as benefits provided that can lead to positive impacts for women employees, salary equality, and other benefits.
  • Supporting women owned or led SMEs: The Fund has a commitment to ensuring that at least 15% of its total capital, or 4 individual investments, reaches SMEs that are owned or led by women entrepreneurs, contributing to increased access for women entrepreneurs in the region. The Fund also tracks women in management in all its portfolio companies to identify opportunities to increase gender balance in senior positions.

Climate Action

  • Encouraging sustainable land management practices: The Fund explicitly targets biodiversity-based SMEs operating (in some cases) in areas of high biological diversity. The Fund’s portfolio companies are expected contribute to maintaining or transitioning ~2.5 M hectares of land to sustainable management approaches, including those recommended by international sustainability certifications. This should lead to improved natural resources conservation, biodiversity conservation, and capacity to adapt to climate change, which will be monitored over the life of the Fund. 
  • Increasing sales of sustainably produced products and services: As the SMEs in the Fund’s portfolios grow, this will positively impact the volume and value of certified sustainable products and services sold in local and international markets which could be as much as USD $1 billion. This will contribute to the demonstration effect of sustainably managed SMEs also successfully reaching new and growing markets with a profitable business model.