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EditPhoto Title:Verde Ventures
EditPhoto Description:Investing in sustainable businesses
EditImage Url:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_43136205.jpg
EditImage Description:Cacao pods from Ambanja, Madagascar
EditPhoto Credit:© PYB
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Providing financial support to small and medium-sized businesses that contribute to healthy ecosystems benefits nature and people.


Verde Ventures is an investment fund managed by Conservation International to provide support for businesses that deliver environmental, socioeconomic and financial benefits. Our business partners support human well-being by protecting the important services – like fresh water, food, energy and more – that communities receive from healthy ecosystems as well as the species and processes that make up these ecosystems. 


The Verde Ventures business philosophy is based on our steadfast belief that economic opportunity and responsible stewardship of the Earth are at the core of successful conservation efforts.



Our strategy

Small and medium-sized businesses can play a vital role in conserving biological diversity and creating jobs that preserve natural resources for future generations.

Verde Ventures provides debt and equity financing to businesses that benefit healthy ecosystems and human well-being, including agroforestry, ecotourism, sustainable harvest of wild products and marine initiatives.

The fund’s investments enable these partners to advance the important role of small business in conservation and responsible development. They employ local people in jobs that give them and their communities a personal and economic stake in safeguarding their local natural resources.

Verde Ventures contributes to successful conservation outcomes through economic incentives and efficient, people-focused solutions. Underlying its success is a set of principles that reflect the specific challenges of small businesses, as well as the need to engage people and businesses at all levels to achieve conservation in effective and lasting ways:

  • Conservation-based employment is essential to provide economic incentives for conservation.
  • The small business sector is a key partner in the intersection between human well-being and conservation.
  • Available and affordable capital ensures the viability of the sector and enables these partners to participate in and benefit from sustainable conservation efforts.
  • Positive changes in the triple-bottom line results of enterprises will build lasting business that will deliver long-​term conservation and economic benefits.

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Edit Item Title:Protect biodiversity
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Edit Item Text:We support businesses that are strategically placed in Earth's biologically richest areas: biodiversity hotspots, high-biodiversity wilderness areas and key marine regions.
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Edit Item Title:Monitor impact
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Edit Item Text:Our approach to monitoring seeks to analyze the relationship between biodiversity conservation and human welfare benefits in the investment portfolio.
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Edit Item Title:Scale up
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Edit Item Text:To significantly scale up the impact of Verde Ventures, an innovative new facility, Verde Ventures 2, will focus on supporting private sector investment in areas where there are critical ecosystems.
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EditImage Alt Text:Drying cocoa in Ghana
EditTitle:By the numbers
EditSubtitle:59,247 local people employed
EditText:

Verde Ventures business partners employ more than 59,000 local people in 14 countries.

Verde Ventures support has also enabled our partners to help protect and restore more than 515,353 hectares of important lands.

EditPhoto Credit:© Olivier Langrand
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    Edit Item Title:Summary Statistics (as of Dec. 31, 2013)
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    Edit Item Text:Percent Invested of Available Funds: 77.8%
    Total Invested to Date: $23,415,704
    Capital Currently Outstanding: $1,710,535
    Principal Repaid to Investors: $7,716,227​
    Number of Entities Supported: 51
    Number of Countries: 14
    Number of Loans: 121
    Repayment Rate: 92.5%
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    Edit Item Title:Triple bottom line results (as of Dec. 31, 2013)
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    Edit Item Text:Direct Hectares Impacted (within project area): 515,353
    Indirect Hectares Impacted: 11,790,815
    IUCN Red-Listed Species Impacted: 483
    Financial Sales Generated by Businesses Supported:$196,541,129
    Leveraged Funding: $4.7 million
    Social Total Direct Beneficiaries: 59,247
    Total Indirect Beneficiaries: 243,787
    Percentage of Female Direct Beneficiaries (of total): 21%
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    EditSection title:Financing
    EditSection subtitle:Verde Ventures offers a variety of debt instruments of $30,000-$500,000, including
    • Loans for infrastructure investments and improvements
    • Revolving lines of credit to finance the purchase of raw materials and harvest working capital
    • Flexible terms from six months to five years
    • Enterprise development services to eligible applicants
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    Edit Item Title:How to apply
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    Edit Item Text:The first step in the application process is to send a Letter of Inquiry to verdeventures@conservation.org with the following information:
    • Description of business, including the specific location of business operations (include country, nearest town and nearest protected area, if available)
    • Amount of investment requested (range: $30,000 to $500,000)
    • Information on how funds will be used and terms of repayment
    • Detailed description of how the project/business supports biodiversity and the local community
    • Information on the background of the key managers
    • Summary financials (two years historical (if relevant) and projections)
    • You may download the Letter of Inquiry (Word - 163 KB)
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    Edit Item Title:Eligibility: Geographic prioritization
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    Edit Item Text:To obtain an investment from Verde Ventures, the enterprise must operate in one of CI's priority areas: biodiversity hotspots, high-biodiversity wilderness areas and key marine regions.

    Given the extent of geographic eligibility and the need to target investments efficiently, Verde Ventures gives preference to projects in countries/regions which have:

    • An existing CI office or strong partner presence
    • An established CI "conservation corridor" and baseline biodiversity data for success measurement
    • Established legal frameworks which provide investors with legal protection in the event of default
    • Relatively stable governments and economies predicted during the investment period
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    Edit Item Title:Eligibility: Additional criteria
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    Edit Item Text:Once geographic eligibility has been established, projects must fulfill the following basic criteria:
    • Make a direct contribution to our priorities
    • Have a strong management team
    • Demonstrate commitment to and participation of a local community
    • Have total business assets less than $5 million during the investment period
    • Demonstrate sufficient cash flow or growth potential to repay the investment within three to five years
    • Demonstrate capacity to repay the investment in US dollars, despite local currency fluctuations
    • Be able and committed to monitor changes in biodiversity during the life of the investment
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    EditText title:Funding sustainable businesses
    EditText:Verde Ventures provides access to funding in the form of loans and grants to small and medium-sized business around the world. Whether they work in agriculture, ecotourism or fisheries, these businesses share one thing in common – a commitment to practices that benefit both ecosystems and human well-being.
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    Image

    EditImage URL:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_68289993.jpg
    EditImage Alt Text:Newly hatched sea turtle at the Playa Viva Resort, Guerrero, Mexico
    EditCaption Title:Ecotourism and Turtles in Playa Viva, Mexico
    EditCaption Description:With a loan from Verde Ventures, the Playa Viva resort and hotel builds its eco-friendly business model while supporting a neighboring sea turtle sanctuary.
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    EditLink URL:/projects/pages/ecotourism-in-playa-viva-mexico-promotes-jobs-and-turtles.aspx
    EditLink Text:Read More

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    EditImage URL:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_43136205.jpg
    EditImage Alt Text:Cocoa pods from Ambanja, Madagascar
    EditCaption Title:Sustainable Cocoa in Madagascar
    EditCaption Description:A loan from Verde Ventures boosts the ability of chocolate maker Madécasse to help local farmers profit from sustainably grown cocoa.
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    EditLink URL:/projects/Pages/Madecasse-Chocolate-Company-Offers-Madagascar-Farmers-Sweet-Deal.aspx
    EditLink Text:Read More
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    Partners

    Support for Verde Ventures comes in many forms, and reliable funding sources are essential to our success.

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    Edit Item Title:Investors
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    Edit Item Text:Verde Ventures receives funding from these organizations:
    • L’Agence Française de Développement (AFD)
    • Fonds Français pour l'Environnement Mondial (FFEM)
    • Global Environment Facility (GEF)
    • International Finance Corporation’s Environmental Business Finance Program (EBFP)
    • Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)
    • Starbucks Coffee Company
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    Edit Item Title:Other supporters
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    Edit Item Text:Verde Ventures depends on the invaluable support of several law firms:
    • Barrera, Siqueiros y Torres Landa, S.C.
    • Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
    • Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP
    • White & Case LLP
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    Edit Item Title:Related programs
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    Edit Item Text:Verde Ventures works closely with other organizations to achieve social, environmental and financial objectives.
    • Rainforest Alliance
    • The SEED Initiative
    • Technoserve
    • World Resources Institute - New Ventures
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      Edit Item Title:Conservation committee
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      Edit Item Text:The Biodiversity Review Committee assesses each new Verde Ventures potential investment to ensure the project will contribute to conserving critical natural wealth.

      Kristen Walker

      Vice President for Social Policy and Practice

      Jose Maria Silva

      Executvie Vice President, Field Programs

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      Edit Item Title:Investment committee
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      Edit Item Text:The Investment Committee comprises financial experts who provide insights into Verde Ventures investments.

      Leslie Barcus

      MicroFinance Specialist, Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest (CGAP)/World Bank

      Patrick Coady

      President, Coady & Co.

      Niels Crone

      Chief Operating Officer, Conservation International

      Mark Feldman

      President and Chief Executive Officer, L&L Manufacturing Co.

      Steven Graubart

      Chartered Financial Analyst

      John May​

      Managing Partner, New Vantage Group

      Jennifer Morris

      Executive Vice President, Ecosystem Finance and Markets, and Co-Chair, Resource Management Group, Conservation International

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      Contact Us

      Ana Lopez

      Fund Director

      Lorena Garcia-Bustos

      Program Manager

      Romas Garbaliauskas

      Senior Legal Advisor

      Judith Reyes

      Legal Advisor

      Yana Shneyderman

      Paralegal Associate

      Curan Bonham

      Senior Manager, Intervention Monitoring and Evaluation



      More of Our Work Links

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      First Image

      EditTitle:Climate
      EditImage:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_30785027.jpg
      EditLink:/what/Pages/Climate.aspx
      EditImage Alt Text:Night falls over Rio de Janeiro. © Nikada

      Second Image

      EditTitle:Science and Innovation
      EditImage:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_80568511.tif
      EditLink:/how/pages/science-and-innovation.aspx
      EditImage Alt Text:Scientists set a camera trap. © Benjamin Drummond

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      EditTitle:The Ocean
      EditImage:/SiteCollectionImages/ci_16084886.jpg
      EditLink:/what/Pages/oceans.aspx
      EditImage Alt Text:Coral reef in Viti Levu, Fiji, Oceania. © William Crosse