Impact initiative of the year - Latin America and Caribbean: SITAWI's Impact Crowdlending

Channels: IMPACT

Companies: SITAWI

People: Andrea Resente

SITAWI'S Empréstimo Coletivo (collective loan) is a crowd-lending platform that aims to stimulate private capital investments in organisations aligned to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The platform is a blended finance structure, which combines crowd-lending from retail individual investors with more traditional direct loans from larger co-investors.

It enables online peer-to-peer lending between individual investors and impact businesses, and SITAWI claims this kind of capital structure mitigates investment risks and democratizes impact investing in Brazil, since individuals can invest in line with their values.

"SITAWI's Impact crowd-lending platform is a pioneering initiative in Brazil that connects investors to impact investing opportunities, allowing individuals to invest with alignment to their values starting at R$1,000 ($200)," says Andrea Resente, impact investing manager at SITAWI.

Launched last year, Empréstimo Coletivo has had two investment rounds, in June 2019 and May 2020, from which it received loans from 228 investors. The first, done in partnership with Instituto Sabin, saw it raise $300,000 from 159 investors and make investments in companies across sustainable agriculture and water, education, public health, and e-commerce.

The second investment round mobilised $300,000 mobilized from 71 individual investors, for five sustainable businesses in the Amazon that generate income for indigenous, quilombolas, and riverside communities. The round was supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Instituto Humanize, CIAT and Idesam.

Having partnered with development organisation the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Empréstimo Coletivo aims to raise between $1 million and $2 million for 'green businesses' in 2021.