Resources created and curated to support the growth of impact investing, for those new to the field and for experienced practitioners.
An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers
GAWA Capital is an impact investment advisory firm that aims to build opportunities for low-income communities via investments in social companies. Founded in 2009, GAWA pioneered the introduction of impact investing in Spain and has since built a strong track record, with over EUR 75million investments advised worldwide in microfinance, MSME-lending, educational and green-vehicle financing. The first closing of our “Huruma” Fund is scheduled for 30-Nov-2019, focused on (i) promoting financial inclusion for smallholder farmers in rural LatAm and Africa, and (ii) expanding the reach of key SMEs in the agri-value chain that positively impact these types of communities. At GAWA, social impact is essential - we strive to actively improve the social performance of our Funds’ investees, using SPTF framework, IRIS standards and, with Huruma, via Technical Assistance facilities. We aim at being a strategic, long-term investor that helps maximize the social impact of investees on excluded populations.
We believe that real transformative change arises from market-based solutions to critical issues such as poverty. GAWA aims to help low-income communities in developing countries boost their livelihoods, carefully selecting companies with strong social missions and sustainable business models, thus balancing social impact with a market-rate of return for investors.
GAWA believes that 2types of impact investing exist:(i) generic impact investments,and (ii) investments in social companies that provide tailor-made solutions to the market failures that result in issues such as poverty. GAWA focuses on (ii), whereby our funds have a well-defined and coherent theory of change. Supported by Technical Assistance, we aim to solve crucial social issues and maximize the impact of investees. To date, we have focused on financial inclusion (MFIs, MSME/Agri-lending, vehicular & educational financing), but we continue to expand our areas of impact into vital excluded sectors. In this sense, we are developing a fund centered on MSME-lending in LatAm, whilst aiding the transition of these MSMEs towards greener energies. GAWA realizes debt&equity investments in developing markets around the world, whilst social impact management is key from due diligence to divestment. Our performance fee is directly linked to the social performance of investees, proving our commitment to impact.
Social performance management is integrated throughout our investment process, and a key differentiator. This implies an exhaustive initial Social Performance Audit (using CERISE-SPI4 and ALINUS audit tools), social covenants in transaction documentation, and active investee social performance improvement. Technical Assistance is available to improve investee outreach, product and technological adaptation, amongst others. GAWA’s performance fee is linked to its social impact, which is audited by a third-party upon investment exit, ensuring Management’s alignment with the Funds’ social missions. GAWA’s unique impact management practice was recognized last year by the Spanish UN Global Compact, who presented GAWA a prize for having made the largest contribution to achieving SDG#1 (No poverty). Spain’s DFI, COFIDES, also gave GAWA Capital an award for its contribution to development during its 8-years of existence. GAWA’s “Huruma” Fund-the first EuSEF (European social entrepreneurship fund) based in Luxembourg-will be key in continuing to maximize GAWA’s social impact.
Insotec is a transparent and innovative microfinance institution providing financial services to rural and agricultural segments of low-income communities in Ecuador since 1981. 70% of its clients live in rural areas and form part of the poorest level of the population pyramid (as per national statistics). 60% of Insotec’s loan portfolio is focused on agriculture, aiming to provide products that suit its clients’ real needs and cashflows–it has recently launched a unique agri-insurance program to protect its clients from natural disasters and crop loss. Insotec has also created alliances within the agri-value chain, to boost its clients’ exposure. Insotec offers its 17,000 clients and their families additional services such as education, technical assistance, microinsurance and health services via liaisons with third-parties. The MFI is lead by an extraordinary team, with strong social commitment, robust operations and sustainable growth plans. The investment is a USD 2.2MM senior loan,3 year tenor.
Agustín Vitorica – Co-Founder and Co-CEO More Info
Agustín has been dedicated to impact investing since founding GAWA in 2009. Previously, he held the position of Managing Director at Dalbergia, one of Spain's largest family offices, where he worked for almost 10 years focusing on Venture Capital & Private Equity investments. Agustín holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and has played a key role in supporting the development of the Impact Investing sector in Spain. He enjoys spending quality time with his family whenever possible in the North of Spain.
Luca Torre – Co-Founder and Co-CEO More Info
Luca has spent most of his career investing in and advising microfinance and financial institutions. Prior to founding GAWA, he worked at Credit Suisse Investment Banking in New York advising many microfinance institutions in accessing capital markets, including Banco Compartamos' IPO. Luca gained on-the-field operating experience working for Annapurna, an Indian MFI. Luca began his career at BCG and holds an MBA from Kellogg where he was awarded Siebel scholarship for leadership. He is an addicted cyclist and loves travelling with his wife and two kids.
Percentage of Total Assets Under
Management that are Impact Investments:
Our funds offer assistance via industry best practices, know-how and social/environmental performance improvement. Our Huruma fund also has a Technical Assistance facility available for investees, enabling GAWA to truly maximize the impact of its investments. Huruma Fund’s objective is to provide the right set of incentives for Financial Service Providers or for Agri-SMEs to transform their business models to better serve/include smallholder farmers: more specifically it seeks to provide the capital needed to build new Agri-finance business units, as well as the knowledge on how to better serve/ include smallholders. Capital is offered through investments and knowledge through technical assistance. Investments are made in Financial Service Providers which are either already serving the agricultural sector and need additional capital to expand their operations or who wish to begin to serve this market – in which case Technical Assistance will be key. In addition, investees’ commitment to use the money to build an Agriculture-related portfolio and/or improve Social Performance Management practices is documented in all investment documents in form of social covenants. Business objectives, such as number of farmers to be reached during the life of the investment or the launching of new products targeting farmers, are set before making the investment. Regarding Agri-SMEs, target investments are companies including cooperatives, food processors, input providers, or other SMEs that operate in value chains involving smallholder farmers and aim to further develop these business cycles, improving farmers’ quality of life.
GAWA Capital’s advised funds only target companies that have a tangible, direct social impact. Prior to investment, exhaustive financial and social due diligences of investees are carried out. The latter is supported by the completion of the comprehensive CERISE SPI4 questionnaire, following which a specific Social Performance Report is drafted. Both GAWA Capital’s founding CEOs are CERISE certified social auditors, and the social impact score of the institution is based on the resulting 25 social performance metrics. Social covenants are included in each transaction’s documentation and the social performance of each investee is carefully monitored (in line with IRIS metrics) and actively improved during the lifetime of GAWA’s investment. Our funds’ investees commit to improving living standards, healthcare, and access to education and finance for clients. Institutions with a social responsibility to employees and the environment are selected, whilst MFI investees are required to meet SMART Campaign’s Client Protection Principles.