Signs that social impact initiatives are relevant for businesses are being seen as investors start to target the sector. Take Kaeté Investimentos as an example of this trend. By year end, the company will be starting a fund of R$ 100 million to invest in small and medium-sized enterprises established in Amazon region, an area that encompasses nine Brazilian states integrated by the Amazon River basin.

Their plan is to purchase minority equity interests (20% to 40%) in five to ten companies with revenues between R$ 20 million and R$ 100 million per year, but with the potential to increase annual revenues to the R$ 250 million range.

Pre-operating stage businesses are also not out of the plans outlined by investors. But the key factor for the Fund is related to the social impact of the businesses that the fund invests in. “Our thesis is that the sustainability element can be associated with the element of profitability,” says Luis Fernando Laranja, Kaete’s fund manager. “We will invest in companies that will add value and that will produce at an industrial scale what today is produced through artisinal ways”, concludes Laranja, who besides Otávio Ottoni, is a partner and manager of Kaeté based in Sao Paulo.

At first, they are looking for companies in the following sectors: food products, especially those processing native fruits from the Amazon region, natural fibers, energy, logistics and acquaculture of regional species. The idea is to offer technology and management for companies working directly with communities.

“We’re bringing innovations to increase the productivity of these families and take these products to the entire country of Brazil and abroad”, highlights Ottoni. “Our impact is certainly much higher in the production sector as we usually focus on products with higher value add,” says the fund manager, who hopes to close the first deal in the beginning of 2013.
por Renato Jakitas para o jornal “O Estado de São Paulo”