Impact Investing in Brazil

Business for social development.. take 1

Impact Investing in Brazil

The things Artemisia does

March 6th, 2012 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Artemisia, a plant mostly known for its medicinal qualities, and its use as the original stock in vermouth, is also thought to uncover psychic powers. Pioneer in social enterprise field-building in Brazil, Artemisia Negocios Sociais couldn’t be better named. Launched in 2004 by the social business clairvoyant Kelly Michel, the non-profit has for almost a decade been paving the way for poverty reduction via business in one of the world’s most unequal countries.

To give a shot at untangling of the logo conglomeration above, Potencia – also founded by Kelly – is an investor group that employs a methodology of ecosystem building to promote emergence and success of social enterprises in Emerging Markets around the world. Its pilot cluster project saw the light of day in none other than Sao Paulo, Brazil. Vox was created as a venture capital fund focused on remove obstacles to financial empowerment of businesses that serve the Bottom of the Pyramid in the country. Meanwhile, Artemisia, a non-profit, was tasked with identifying potential social entrepreneurs and providing them with the technical assistance and know-how needed to cultivate and develop innovative market solutions to social needs.

Moreover, the three, in collaboration with the AVINA Foundation, Endeavor and New Ventures have been working hand-in-hand to develop the social enterprise sector in Brazil. Among other achievements, they also facilitated the creation of a regional chapter of the Aspen Network of Development Enterpreneurs (ANDE) – Polo ANDE Brazil – in 2010 and launched the Brazil edition of in early 2011.

Artemisia, though often cited in relation to its Aceleradora program, comprises of two more branches, namely Choice and Usina das Ideas. Its Accelerator program, after testing various approaches from its conception in 2004, graduating three classes of social entrepreneurs, and adopting features of the Village Capital peer-selection process, is now in the midst of a fine-tuned and refined 9-month program with 10 promising social enterprises – Clinica Sim, Works, Aurie, QMagico, Sautil, Solidarium, F123, Banco Perola, Cidade de Educacao and Dossier Digital. Most of the startups have already secured funding, and all without exception have been perfecting their business model after rounds of pitches and feedback. Their graduation, scheduled for around July 5th this year, will be marked with a major conference complete with social enterprise trendsetters in Brazil as well as international guest speakers and invitees.

Artemisia’s Choice program, a later creation, functions as a means of disseminating ideas and good practices in social entrepreneurship by involving university students as ambassadors of the ideals Artemisia is working to spread. Selected participants – with the new and what is now a second class comprising 90 students or recent graduates from 12 different states Brazil – go through a 5-month program complete with trainings, weekly challenges and required workshop facilitation to spread the word of positive social change through conscientious business practices.

Finally, the Usina de Ideas is an in-depth hands-on introduction to social entrepreneurship that guides an average of 20 participants per class through the idea-conception phase onward to social enterprise inception, equipping them with concepts and requisite tools along the way. The program consists of four different modules, delivered in 10 days spread out in a period of 6 weeks.

Also, the very latest development is an under way MBA program in social innovation! More on that to come.

To provide some scope to Artemisia’s impact and pace, check out what they’ve done in just the past week:

  • trained 60 new Choice ambassadors from six states in two weekend-long events in Sao Paulo and Curitiba
  • involved eight graduated Choice ambassadors as mentors in the training of new participants
  • delivered workshops to 40 students in the sciences, engineering and IT in the northern city of Recife
  • facilitated the creation of ten social enterprise ideas in the area of technology and awarded top three
  • conducted this year’s first weekend workshop with the latest Accelerator class on Commercial Intelligence with six guest lecturers from the private and public sector.

Exemplary, nao e?


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