Status of initiative: N/a
Description/achievement of initiative

Smallholder producers and SMEs active in products and services derived from biodiversity frequently have difficulties attracting long-term finance. Obstacles are greatest for enterprises seeking debt and equity financing to conduct feasibility studies; start up businesses; secure patents and legal rights; develop/test new products; expand; convert to sustainable practices; or move into value-added products.
Although a number of initiatives have already been launched to address these needs, experience so far shows that many companies are not able to fully benefit from these initiatives, due to the small amount of capital required, the nature of the products, and the type of the enterprises involved (i.e. community-based enterprises or start-ups). Many enterprises still lack managerial capacity to scale up their business without compromising the environmental and social components, to introduce products to new markets, and to develop strategic partnerships.

In order to cater for these needs, CAF, WRI, and the BIOTRADE Initiative of UNCTAD have entered into a partnership to organize a Investor Forum entitled 'New Ventures Biodiversity Investor Forum - for the Andean and Amazonian regions'. The objective is to support existing and start-up small and medium sized bio-businesses from the Andean and Amazonian regions to access credit and venture capital to overcome their difficulties in obtaining long-term finance. The three organizations have designed an approach comprising three stages:
1) A technical assistance track to up-grade biodiversity-based businesses and business plans.
2) Organization of investor forums - i.e. New Ventures Forum - introducing special measures to cater for some of the financial needs of biodiversity-based businesses.
3) Facilitation of access to credit from national financial institutions for promising business proposals that were nevertheless not selected for the investor forum.
The aim of this partnership is to promote concrete bio-businesses to set examples of successful sustainable use initiatives and attract additional investments for sustainable development.

Expected results:
* An increased number of bio-businesses will have received credits, equity capital and technical assistance grants to finance business activities that support sustainable development.
* An increased visibility for the bio-business sector and the opportunities generated for sustainable local development and biodiversity conservation.
* Increased priority for bio-business development in agendas of Government, private sector, local and indigenous communities, donors and other relevant stakeholders.
* A methodology that can be replicated in a cost effective way in other regions.

Implementation methodologies

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure


Government of Bolivia - Government of Bolivia
Government of Brazil - Government of Brazil
Government of Colombia - Government of Colombia
Government of Ecuador - Government of Ecuador
Government of Peru - Government of Peru
Government of Venezuela - Government of Venezuela

Major Groups:
Programme Bolsa Amazonia (Brazil)
Alexander von Humboldt Institute (Colombia)
EcoCiencia (Ecuador)
Export and Investment Promotion Corporation CORPEI (Ecuador)
Export Promotion Board, PROMPEX (Peru)
World Resources Institute (WRI) (United States of America)

UN System:
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), BIOTRADE Initiative (Switzerland)
United Nations Foundation (UNF) (United States of America)
Other intergovernmental organizations:
Andean Development Corporation (CAF) (Venezuela)

Sustainable Development Goals and targets
Resources devoted to implementation
This initiative does not yet fulfil the SMART criteria.
Date of completion: 2004-05-01
Operating in countries
Partner connections
Contact information/focal point(s)

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