Event featuring Fundo Vale discussed support for innovative financial mechanisms to unlock capital for the social and environmental impact sector.

Philanthropy, impact investing and finance for conservation and the climate were highlighted at “Sitawi Connection,” an event held on September 21 in São Paulo by Sitawi Finanças do Bem. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Bioversity Alliance’s Private Sector Engagement Program, the Agbara Fund, the Coca-Cola Institute, the Sabin Institute, Pretahub, USAID, the São Paulo State Environment Secretariat, the PIPA Initiative, PerifaConnection, Coopercuc and Sitawi’s own executive team. The event was sponsored by the Sabin Institute, Fundo Vale and the Coca-Cola Institute.

The event, which was restricted to invited guests, featured several presentations and debates on topics such as inequalities, non-Amazon biomes and the future of work. Liz Lacerda of Fundo Vale’s Partnerships and Business Promotion Department represented the organization in a panel discussion called “Impact Investing: Approaches and Financial Solutions for Impact.”

Sitawi, which focuses on financial solutions with positive social and environmental impacts, is today one of the five most influential NGOs in Brazil and one of the 100 most important in the world, according to a ranking of nonprofit initiatives around the globe by Swiss organization TheDotGood.

“We need to reflect on the role of capital in a world marked by profound social inequalities and environmental impacts. Where will we be in the next 15 years?” asked Leonardo Letelier, CEO and founder of Sitawi Finanças do Bem.

In his view, it is possible to give a new dimension to investments, conservation finance and philanthropy in order to transform the world, maximizing resources and obtaining more promising results.

Timeline: Partnership between Fundo Vale and Sitawi

The histories of Fundo Vale and Sitawi began to intertwine in 2020, starting with a project together with the Partners for the Amazon, which involved supporting the Sitawi Platform and monitoring organizations that took part in a series of Amazon Rounds. Since then, many positive results have been obtained.

The Sitawi Platform was subsequently transformed into a peer-to-peer lending platform and since then another three rounds have been supported. In the area of peer-to-peer lending, Fundo Vale provided financial backing for operating expenses and to subsidize interest rates on loans.

Round 14 will be held soon, in the second half of October, also with support from Fundo Vale. Five organizations are working to attract investment and Fundo Vale will provide R$400,000 of subsidized capital. For every R$1 invested by individuals, Fundo Vale will also invest R$1, but without charging any interest. As a result, the interest paid by the impact businesses will be halved, making the investment capital more patient and affordable.

In addition, the partnership has expanded to other projects. Sitawi provided impact investment consulting services to Fundo Vale in 2022, as part of Vale’s 2030 Forest Goal project. This entailed carrying out an in-depth analysis of eight organizations in the Amazon, to understand the feasibility of supporting and investing in them.

Results achieved: