NESsT Announces Research Partnerships with Mott Foundation and IDRC to Study Amazon Bioeconomy, Generate Social and Economic Impact to Address Climate Change

The two separate partnerships will study local, NESsT-backed enterprises to inform policy recommendations and drive more meaningful impact in the region

EL CERRITO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–NESsT, a global impact investor and venture philanthropist, announced today two partnerships, with the C.S.Mott Foundation and Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), respectively. The two partnerships will conduct action research in the Amazon to understand the challenges and degradation of climate change on local communities and empower them for positive change.

The research will result in the systemization of knowledge and the development of industry recommendations to support the Amazon bioeconomy through inclusive, climate-resilient, and regenerative food systems. Both research partnerships will highlight the unique role of conservation and regenerative enterprises in promoting inclusion and indigenous rights through economic empowerment.

“One of the most urgent themes at COP27 was global climate responsibility and the trillions of dollars of capital developing countries need to address growing climate-related destruction,” said Nicole Etchart, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of NESsT. “NESsT’s partnerships with Mott Foundation and IDRC represent what’s possible at the intersection of public, private and non-private work to drive change for the planet’s most pressing challenge.”

NESsT invests in social enterprises in Latin America that provide quality jobs for underserved communities while sustaining the planet. Currently, NESsT supports 46 businesses across the Amazon in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, incubating and financing small businesses, cooperatives and associations that impact sustainable value chains through bioeconomy practices.

Bioeconomy is defined as the universe of conservation enterprises supporting local communities to engage in activities that promote forest conservation, preservation and restoration. Approximately $25 billion have been pledged by governments and private funders to end deforestation and support indigenous and local communities. However, despite recent enthusiasm for such practices, little is still known about how conservation enterprises generate social and economic impact that address climate change and adaptation. In an effort to better understand these efforts and drive more meaningful impact, NESsT is embarking on a new path, working with key ecosystem stakeholders such as the Mott Foundation and IDRC to capture and systemize knowledge to amplify impact.

“NESsT is doing important work at the grassroots level across the Amazon, and we’re proud to be supporting their team to transfer key learnings from community enterprises into policy recommendations targeting development finance institutions (DFIs), Amazon stakeholders, and the broader international community,” said Traci Romine, Program Officer at the C.S. Mott Foundation.

“Regenerative agriculture is critical to combating effects of climate change, from capturing carbon in the atmosphere to increasing biodiversity. It is also about regenerating social cohesion, fostering gender equality, enhancing communities’ livelihoods and increasing their resilience to shocks such as climate change,” said Federico Burone, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at IDRC. IDRC is supporting an initiative on regenerative agribusinesses and investment in the Amazon and Central America Dry Corridor with a consortium of organizations coordinated by AVINA. NESsT is part of this consortium. “Together with NESsT, we will seek to empower regenerative companies and investors in the agricultural sector to scale and deepen their impact to address climate change and inequalities.”

About NESsT

NESsT is a catalyst for social enterprises in global emerging markets. NESsT provides financial capital, training and mentoring, and access to markets for a high-impact portfolio of social enterprises that solve critical social problems within vulnerable communities across Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America. Since its founding in 1997, NESsT has invested over $24M, trained and supported over 24,000 entrepreneurs, and incubated and financed 223 enterprises sustaining more than 77,000 formal jobs, and improving the lives of close to one million people.

About Mott Foundation

The C.S. Mott Foundation supports non-profit organizations that are working to strengthen local Flint, Michigan and communities around the world. Over more than nine decades, the Mott Foundation has sought to advance and strengthen the well-being of all aspects of community — from individuals and families to the institutions that serve them.

About IDRC

As part of Canada’s foreign affairs and development efforts, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) champions and funds research and innovation within and alongside developing regions to drive global change. IDRC invests in high-quality research in developing countries, shares knowledge with researchers and policymakers for greater uptake and use, and mobilizes global alliances to build a more sustainable and inclusive world.


Sabrina Ni

Communications Manager

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