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A Partnership to Invest in Women Entrepreneurs in Latin America

SOCAP January 12, 2013

–> Who:  Agora Partnerships and The Eleos Foundation
–> What: The Agora-Eleos LatAm Women’s Fund is a collaboration between Agora Partnerships and The Eleos Foundation to unleash the power of women in Latin America through entrepreneurship.
–> How: Read this synopsis, and learn more about Agora Partnerships, and The Eleos Foundation, and more about the LatAm Women’s Fund here.
By Adam Smiley Poswolsky
Agora Partnerships, an early pioneer of the impact-investing movement, supports ventures at the seed and early stages, and has helped drive approximately $5 million into more than 40 small businesses across Central America.  The Eleos Foundation provides opportunities for co-investors to invest in funds at the forefront of pioneering markets, and invests and partners with social entrepreneurs who effectively implement high-impact, early stage solutions to eradicate extreme poverty.
At SOCAP, Agora Partnerships and The Eleos Foundation, announced a new partnership specifically designed to invest in women in Latin America.  At the partnership launch, Jackie VanderBrug, from Gender Lens Investing Catalyst, discussed how investing in women can expand opportunity, increase impact, and drive financial returns.
This new partnership leverages Agora’s strength in identifying emerging social entrepreneurs, while Eleos will complete due diligence on the company, and then makes the investment available to members of the collaboration who can then co-invest at their discretion.
“This is an innovative strategic partnership for Agora,” explained Agora Partnerships Founder and CEO, Ben Powell.  “We find and accelerate high-potential women entrepreneurs in Latin America.  And Eleos makes it easier for investors to invest in these entrepreneurs.  Eleos connects investors, who want to connect impact with their investment, to entrepreneurs who are making an impact with their companies.”
Through its Impact Accelerator program, Agora is creating a pipeline of small-business entrepreneurs (with revenue in between $50,000 and $1 million), and helping these businesses solve local problems and create employment opportunities, providing them with mentorship, strategic consulting, and leadership development.  One Agora entrepreneur,Oscarito’s, which is a children’s clothing manufacturer in Nicaragua, was founded with a $100 microloan in 1996, and now employs more than 50 workers—mostly single mothers—and generates over $350,000 in annual revenue.
To find out more about this new collaboration, which makes it easier for women entrepreneurs to access capital, and creates a transparent investment opportunity for those seeking to empower women and girls in Latin American, check out agorapartnerships.org.

This article is a part of a series produced at SOCAP12 by New Empire Builders. New Empire Builders is a SOCAP12 media partner.

Impact Investing / Social Entrepreneurship
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