How to fight poverty without aid

May 14, 2015

Non-profit global venture fund, Acumen has announced its expansion to support social entrepreneurship in Latin America. The impact investor will be headquartered in Bogotá and will invest in innovative entrepreneurs and establishments in Colombia and Peru.

Despite the rapid growth of Colombia’s economy over the years, inequality still persists in the country. While urban areas have flourished, lives in the rural areas have not improved. But Acumen is set to help better the lives of people in Latin America.

The company’s Latin America Country Director, Virgilio Barco believes that there is a strong pipeline of investment opportunities, particularly in the agriculture sector. He also explained that the organisation is focused on creating opportunities that alleviate potential poverty for generations to come, rather than short-term interventions which only generate sustainable incomes for households.

About a quarter of the country’s population who live in rural areas have been exposed to conflict and violence, thereby hindering development. Agriculture has been are held back by certain factors such as- financial services or technical assistance, land and irrigation. The lack of infrastructure prevents them from competing with other global markets, further aggravating the barriers to progress.

Although extreme poverty in Latin America has dropped by half, over 80 million people still live on $4 a day and more than 200 million suffer the risk of returning to their previous status. This launch to tackle poverty will ensure that income challenges of small holder farmers are addressed while tacking rural challenges such as water, energy and health.

Acumen CEO Jacqueline Novogratz explained that rather than rely on markets or aid alone, turning charitable donations into financial capital is also wise. “Acumen can enable Latin American businesses to grow and ultimately bring large-scale, sustainable solutions poverty.”

Source: Ventures Africa

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