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social fund makes its first move

January 2001

A $10million venture capital fund set up to invest in ‘environment-friendly’ Latin American and Caribbean businesses has made its first investment.

The EcoEnterprises Fund, run by The Nature Conservancy and the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank, will invest $500,000 (€566,000) in an organic cocoa production company based in Costa Rica.

The fund was set up in February last year to invest in small and medium-sized companies in the eco-tourism, non-timber forest products and sustainable forestry and agriculture sectors. It will make investments of $50,000-$800,000 and fund up to 50 per cent of project costs.

Its managers aim to invest in 30 business ventures by 2010.

All projects selected will employ ‘sound environmental practices’, benefit the community financially and will have to pass ‘rigorous’ environmental and social screens.

The Nature Conservancy was founded in 1951 to help preserve habitats and species and owns 60 million acres of land around the world.




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