Fundo Vale supports structured social and environmental impact businesses that generate financial returns and have the potential to scale up, according to the results planned for 2025 in the “Catalyze Social and Environmental Impact Businesses” strategy in the organization’s Theory of Change. It does this directly, through Vale’s 2030 Forest Goal, and also by supporting catalyst organizations, which are running programs to support this type of business.
This year, we have seen important results in this area, involving three partners. The first is Sitawi – Finanças do Bem, which finds and strengthens businesses that have positive social and environmental impacts, mitigate the effects of deforestation in the Amazon and value the standing forest economy, generating biodiversity conservation and income for communities, as well as preserving local culture.
Round 12 of the Amazon Peer-to-Peer Lending Platform, which began in 2022 and ended in May 2023, worked with 117 organizations, and two were approved and launched on the platform: Sementes do Marajó (an açaí extractive cooperative in Curralinho, Pará, which works with sustainable açaí harvesting, generating income for 125 cooperative members) and CCampo (a cooperative that strengthens family farming and offers regional products from the Amazon, made by more than 180 cooperative members, guaranteeing income for more than 470 families and maintaining the sustainable use of more than 500 hectares).
In all, more than R$626,000 was raised from 144 investors, including Fundo Vale. Now in the monitoring phase, the businesses are going to structure their financial and impact indicators and report to investors on a quarterly basis.
They will have access to a network of mentors and volunteers, and exposure to the Sitawi network (which shares information about initiatives with more than 10,000 subscribers and 2,000 registered investors). They will also benefit from media coverage, they will be able to take part in events and they will have access to specialized services.
The Amazon Impact Accelerator (AMAZ), which invests in, accelerates and boosts businesses that seek permanent solutions to reduce deforestation and promote forest conservation in the Amazon, with the involvement of local people, received 112 entries in its latest call for proposals.
Of the entrants, 18 were interviewed and they are now being analyzed by the AMAZ team, which includes due diligence, in order to verify their economic, financial and administrative aspects. Some of these 18 businesses will be pre-accelerated and selected to join the accelerator’s portfolio. AMAZ will then invest capital in them in 2024.
The total demand for investment from the 112 applicant businesses is more than R$163 million. Most of the businesses (94, or 84%) have women at the helm and 86 of them (77%) are run by non-white people. In all, 55 collect and analyze business process and/or operational indicators, nine monitor defined result/impact indicators, eight make decisions based on evaluations, one has an evaluation matrix and 20 have defined social and environmental result/impact indicators. So far, 60% of them have already been through other acceleration programs.
In turn, Amazon at Home, Intact Forest – a platform that is strengthening the Amazon business community and creating a learning network that promotes innovative commercial solutions to enhance market access and take the Amazon’s social and biological diversity to consumers across the country – selected 50 impact businesses in its latest round. Registration and participation were completely free of charge.
The benefits offered by the platform include brand awareness campaigns, participation in fairs and events, measurement of results and impacts, participation in training and promotion programs, access to the Mercado Livre e-commerce platform and connections with partner networks. In addition, a specific pathway is offered for nine community businesses, featuring workshops on communication and pricing.