Impact Investment Fund Strategy – BVLF Peru
The Bernard Van Leer Foundation (BVLF) is a Dutch foundation committed to improving the lives of children under the age of 8 around the world. BVLF has traditionally made grants to organizations focused on education, health and other services to improve the lives of early youth; however, it was interested to understand the opportunity in impact investing. I-DEV was engaged to analyze the opportunity and appropriate strategy to maximize impact in Peru, where BVLF has made significant grant investments to-date.
I-DEV worked closely with the BVLF team to understand long-term objectives of the Foundation, as well as the possible impact investment fund through a series of brainstorming sessions, followed by discussions to hone in on target impact and relevant criteria by which I-DEV would assess relevant potential investment opportunities. I-DEV then leveraged its broad network of investors, capacity builders, associations and local businesses to understand the entrepreneurship and early stage business landscape across 8 key geographic “hubs” of impact. In addition to I-DEV identifying a long-list and short-list of high-potential investment opportunities in line with BVLF’s impact and returns criteria, I-DEV also provided a summary analysis of key gaps in financing and technical assistance, and recommendations on opportunities for BVLF’s strategy moving forward.
As a result of I-DEV’s work, BVLF decided to pursue one key recommendation, and this Phase 2 assignment began in early 2015. Phase 2 is focused on catalyzing early stage entrepreneurship in the Peruvian Amazon city of Iquitos, targeting a low-income community in Belen. A key focus of this initiative is to create greater employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, especially for women, that allows them to earn greater and steady income, while also providing better care to their young children. I-DEV is currently seeking strategic partners to implement initiatives related to general entrepreneurship training, eco-tourism development, energy and clean water solutions and camu camu (local superfood) production.