Prepared by: Jo Reynolds, SI Canada and Canadian Impact Investment Specialist, Technical Assistance Program, Global Affairs Canada.
This past October 20th – 27th The Taskforce on Impact Investing in Peru with support from the Canadian Embassy, Field Support Service Program, and Global Affairs Canada Technical Assistance Program facilitated a series of strategic engagements towards the formation of a National Advisory Board (NAB) on impact investing.
As the TAP-EDM country specialist, I had the privilege of being in Lima for these stakeholder sessions. Five stakeholder sessions included representation from the public sector, support organizations, investors and corporations who are committed to creating a future where Peru is better positioned to use investment approaches that are made with a declared intention to generate measurable positive impact for people and the environment while providing a financial return to investors.
The purpose of the sessions was to create the space for collaboration – and designing pathways for future success by:
- Building connections and awareness of what others are doing;
- Discovering intersections of how impact investing supports shared goals; and,
- Validating the proposed NAB strategic plan
Each session began with a reception allowing time for the participants to meet one another and engage before beginning the facilitated workshops where the concept of the National Advisory Board was shared, along with a shared understanding of impact investing and facilitated table discussions.
Our first session was focused on the role the Public Sector has for impact investing to meet its potential. Governments have direct and indirect mechanisms that can shape the policies and programs necessary to develop and grow the impact investing marketplace that include:
- Directing Capital where governments can direct capital through tax programs, subsidies and reporting requirements that can favour impact investing;
- Supply Development for impact investing; such as, through direct investment or outcome funds; and,
- Demand Development includes enabling corporate structures and investments into capacity building
Table discussions helped to share how the public sector is currently active in areas across Peru including the Amazon to support biodiversity projects that build local enterprises and are seeking to become investment ready. As well as; the spectrum of investments that the public development bank, COFIDE have deployed with a specific focus on social and environmental outcomes. An area that remains to be fully developed is impact measurement management and how to implement across investments in a portfolio. Impact measurement management is often complex and requires dedicated resources and training and can be an area for the NAB to support across all stakeholder groups.
The second session focused on Support Organizations who are building the business development capacity and impact infrastructure across Peru. Challenges that come with this are similar to what we experience here in Canada e.g. matching the supply of capital to the stages of enterprise development. Table discussions were facilitated by the team from Mosaico Lab. The third session engaged representatives from the Corporate Sector to explore how corporations are aligning their business goals with the Sustainable Development Goals, UN Principles of Responsible Investment, and the Global Impact Investing Network. We heard directly from Marlene Molero Saurez, founder of Gender Lab on how corporations in Peru can advance towards gender equity. Finally, the Investor Session brought rich discussion on the opportunities and challenges to impact investing in Peru facilitated by Justin Schwartz, IMPAQTO Capita and Lina Rossi, ANDE.
These stakeholder sessions culminated at the Peru Venture Capital Conference where the Task Force hosted over 80 people to a special lunch and dialogue in order to bring awareness to the NAB and the Global Steering Group and the different actors in the Peruvian ecosystem. We were very pleased to have the Canadian Ambassador, Louis Marcotte introduce the event and Carlos Linares Presidente del Directorio, COFIDE provide concluding remarks.
Ambassador Louis Marcotte
The stakeholder sessions is an example of the value a National Advisory Board (NAB) can bring to Peru, that is to facilitate strategic opportunities among stakeholder groups in order to build collaboration and shared learning to effectively move capital into programs, projects and enterprises that have a measurable positive social and environmental impact.
Currently, there are 34 NABs across 28 countries who are aligned for action with a global secretariat known as the Global Steering Group (GSG) for Impact Investment located in London, UK.
The NAB seeks to catalyze the scaling of impact investing in Peru with the objective of facilitating access to capital, knowledge and networks for high-impact ventures and projects, while making the impact investment sector visible and promoting its growth nationally.
The National Advisory Board works to:
- Raise the profile and awareness of impact investing among leaders in business, government, and finance, as well as the general public.
- Provide a productive platform for the industry to drive influence and action. Many ecosystems have been able to achieve public policy change or the participation of the main actors.
- Accelerate opportunities for the sector to participate in data collection, knowledge sharing and collaborative efforts that can improve the understanding, capacity and effectiveness of the sector.
- meeting and convening point for industry leaders.
Over the next few months, I will continue to work alongside the Task Force members to establish a governance model and establishment of the NAB in Peru. The Technical Assistance Program (TAP) is part of Global Affairs Canada’s Expert Deployment Mechanism approach to official development assistance around the world in a wide range of sectors to further knowledge sharing and learning.
TAP’s approach to technical assistance is one based on mutual respect of what each partner brings to the project, acknowledging that this is a partnership of equals. Recognizing that country partners are experts on their own local contexts and are the leaders in their sectors. While Canadian experts make recommendations based on their expertise, project partners remain the final decision makers. In representing Canada, I also have the privilege of working with Alinea International, who is the implementing partner for TAP.