Total Assets Under Management: $26 – 50MM
Asset Class: Private Debt - Absolute Return / Notes, Public Equity
Natural Resources and Conservation
Small and Medium Business Development
Category: Mezzanine Finance
EcoEnterprises Fund is a pioneer impact investor that has worked with innovative, community- and nature-based businesses for two decades. The Fund identifies, nurtures and finances the scaling of sustainable business models that contribute to the conservation of critical natural resources systems and biodiversity, the mitigation of climate risks, and the building of long-term sustainable income opportunities for suppliers and workers. A first mover in its segment, the women-owned and led Fund has built an unparalleled track record of two successful funds, that have financed 35 companies in Latin America and achieved transformative environmental and social impacts, including the creation of 6,700 jobs, stable demand for over 32.500 smallholder suppliers, additional benefits for 186,000 local people and the conservation of 10.5 million acres of land. EcoEnterprises Fund remains committed to leading the way and will launch its third fund under management end of 2017.
Firm Headquarters: Latin America
Years of Operation: More than 10 years
Total Assets Under Management:
$26 – 50MM
Total Number of Investors: Between 5 – 25
% of Capital from Top 3 Investors: Less than 25%
EcoEnterprises Fund fills a void in local capital markets, achieves attractive market rate returns and creates meaningful impact by offering nature-based small and growing companies tailored investment and engaged value-add to scale business success concurrent with supporting community well-being and the sustainability of local natural resource systems.
Globally, the deterioration of valuable ecosystems continues to accelerate. In Latin America, one of the world's most biologically-rich regions, representing nearly 40% of the planet's remaining biodiversity, there is a significant burden on fragile habitats and unique natural resources bases due to unsustainable agricultural methods. Poverty and challenges arising from climate change further increase the pressure. EcoEnterprises Fund has found that successful conservation and addressing the economic needs of rural communities are inextricably linked. By providing tailored growth capital and hands-on support to businesses that foster sustainable practices while building equitable value chains and serving as model for replication in sectors like organic agriculture, agro-forestry, wild-harvested products, aquaculture, and ecotourism, the Fund boosts local economies and protects threatened ecosystems. Impact and returns are maximized by leveraging the Fund's broad network of partners, and its expert investment and risk mitigation strategies developed and tested over two decades.
In 2017, EcoEnterprises Fund invested in Del Llano Alto Oleico, a certified sustainable palm oil company producing branded, high quality, high oleic palm oil. A joint venture of three Colombian family businesses with long traditions of sustainability, the company strategically integrates the palm oil value chain from the seedling to the finished product, and showcases Latin America's sustainable palm oil potential. The company's 17,000 hectares of palm plantations, created on partially degraded land, are today sustainably-managed and forest-like, providing significant ecological benefits, such as improved soil quality, increased carbon sequestration, and an abundant biodiversity with hundreds of animal and plant species, several of them endangered. The company also purchases palm from 50 small, local producers, and creates employment for approximately 2,200 people in a region of historically high unemployment. The Fund's investment will help the company to scale, start a pilot for organic palm, and expand its conservation efforts.
Leadership and Team
Cumulative Leadership Experience in Investing:
More than 30 years
Cumulative Impact Experience of Top Three Firm Leaders:
More than 30 years
A leader in impact investing, Tammy Newmark has over thirty years of experience in the field. Newmark launched EcoEnterprises Partners II, LP in 2012 under EcoEnterprises Capital Management, LLC in which she is a partner. She served as President of Fondo EcoEmpresas, S.A., EcoEnterprises Fund’s first fund under management, for The Nature Conservancy from 1998 to 2010. Newmark directed Technoserve, Inc.’s environmental business advisory services in Latin America and Africa. Prior to that, she was a founding officer of Environmental Enterprises Assistance Fund, the first venture fund that specialized in renewable energy, clean technology, and green investments in emerging markets.
|Michele Pena – Chief Operating Officer More Info
Michele Pena – Chief Operating Officer More Info
Michele Pena has been part of the EcoEnterprises Fund’s senior team since 2001, managing all operational, business development and monitoring and evaluation functions. She now serves as Chief Operating Officer. Pena launched EcoEnterprises Partners II, LP in 2012 under EcoEnterprises Capital Management, LLC in which she is a partner. Pena brought organizational and marketing expertise to EcoEnterprises Fund from her position as Program Director at the Climate Institute, a nonprofit organization focused on global climate change issues. Pena is co-author of Portfolio for the Planet: Lessons from 10 years of impact investing, (Earthscan/Routledge Press, 2011). She has an MA from American University in Washington, D.C.
John McKenna brings nineteen years’ experience in both private equity and the technology industry, the majority focused on the emerging markets of Latin America, Africa and Asia. He has worked extensively advising corporate executives and Boards of Directors on strategic issues. His functional expertise includes new business development, mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings and turn-around management. Most recently John worked as an executive in the Private Equity group of Fidelity Investments, covering a wide-range of industries. He has an MBA from the University of South Carolina.
Percentage of Investment Professionals who are Women and/or Under-Represented Groups in Firm's Geographic Focus:
More than 50%
Percentage of Board Members who are Women and/or Under-Represented Groups in Firm's Geographic Focus:
25% – 50%
Target Financial Returns Relative to Benchmark:
Actual Performance Relative to Target Financial Returns in the Past Three Years:
In line with initial target returns
Financial Reporting Frequency to Investors or Donors
Percentage of Total Assets Under
Management that are Impact Investments:
Primary Impact Outcomes:
Addressing climate change and environmental issues
Conserving land, ecosystems and natural resources
Value-added Services Offered:
Business and legal training
Financial literacy training
Other: Training in environmental and social best practices
Investments systematically target companies where social and/or environmental impact is integral to the product/service being created:
The Fund's investment proposition emerged out of an underlying belief that community well-being is at the heart of long term success, both in terms of company/portfolio performance and the sustainability of the Earth's natural resource base. The Fund systematically screens for companies that rely on and actively promote the sustainable use of natural resources and the protection of the biodiversity they source from. All portfolio companies partner with rural communities and adhere to ethical sourcing and trading principles, creating much-needed long-term jobs and fair income opportunities. A rigorous environmental screening and evaluation process is undertaken for every prospective investment including the application of the Fund's tested and established impact metrics tool in cooperation with external specialists. A highly qualified Impact Committee stands at the ready to support Fund team and portfolio companies on specific social and environmental items that are identified and monitored overtime.
Investments systematically include social and environmental sustainability practices in the due diligence process:
Ensuring that portfolio companies employ best practices in social and environmental sustainability both internally and externally is a critical to be included in EcoEnterprises Fund's portfolio. Metrics pertaining to best practices in governance, diversity, waste and energy usage, etc. are included in the Fund's Impact Metric Guidelines used during due diligence and subsequent monitoring. Most of the companies the Fund targets pursue certifications, such as US or European organic labels, Fairtrade, Smart Voyager, Forest Stewardship Council, Global GAAP certifications. Several of the Fund's portfolio companies also help local suppliers to receive certification, set up ethical sourcing regimes and/or have fair-sharing of benefits, thereby expanding their impact. The Fund continuously encourages and supports its portfolio companies in these efforts, through advisory (i.e. hiring and interviews) or targeted technical assistance. The Fund participates as Board members and/or observers for portfolio companies.
Impact Tracking and Monitoring
Social and/or Environmental Impact is Reported to Investors and Donors:
Yes – to investors and donors
Third Party Validations:
Participant on steering committees or leadership roles within impact industry associations
Publisher or contributor to industry white paper or other research in impact investing