Conference explores possibilities for impact investment

Chiapas_FarmsImpact investment has great potential in the region, but greater attention needs to be paid to the establishment of a favorable ecosystem in Latin America and to promote associations between social entrepreneurs and investors. These were the main conclusions of the Latin America Impact Investment Conference held in February in Yucatan, Mexico. To this end, the objective of the conference was to link the main players involved in the issue (25 funds from the region took part) and to attract and educate investors and small businesses on the business opportunities available. The example of the IGNIA Fund I, the first risk capital investment focused on the base of the pyramid in Latin America, is held up as a model of impact investing in the region. At the end of 2010, the fund invested $5 million in Chiapas Farms (pictured), a fruit and vegetable producer and exporter that helps the farmer increase income while mitigating risks. It has also invested more than $3 million in Barafón, a company that provides public telephone and related services through a network of independent microbusinesses for low-income populations in Mexico.

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