In late 2014, NESsT, a social enterprise incubator, and Social Venture Partners, the world’s largest network of engaged donors, started trialling the engaged philanthropy model in Latin America. The programme – NESsT Partners – launched officially this month.
‘Historically,’ says Loïc Comolli of NESsT, ‘philanthropy in Latin America has been very traditional and humanitarian, often tied to religious activities and political parties. Governments do not provide tax incentives for corporations or individuals to make financial donations – even the word “philanthropy” is seldom heard, opting instead for “private social investment”. So Latin America clearly needs new solutions. NESsT Partners is a way to move beyond the temporary relief of financial aid or charity.’
With NESsT Partners, 20 to 25 individuals pool donations and collaboratively decide which projects to support, in line with the venture philanthropy approach. They also become actively involved in the projects by offering access to their networks and offering assistance with strategy, marketing and/or their investees’ business models. NESsT Partners’ current area of focus is dignified jobs and income for vulnerable communities in Brazil, Argentina and Peru.
One of the projects already under way is INCORES, a programme that bridges the gap between corporate entry-level jobs and at-risk youth in search of employment. INCORES teaches at-risk youth in Bahia critical job skills and offers them placements with major corporations.
Contact Loïc Comolli for more information if you’re interested in getting involved.