Focused on Amazon businesses, the initiative had more than twice as many registrants in relation to 2018
The PPA Business Call 2019 received 201 applications in just over a month. This is more than double compared to last year’s edition, which accounted for 81 entries.
Held by the Partnership Platform for the Amazon (PPA) with technical support from Pipe Social, the Call is aimed at entrepreneurs, startups, organizations, community-based businesses, networks of people/collectives, institutions and companies at an early stage focused on forest conservation, valuing biodiversity and sustainable development in the Amazon.
The initiative received applications from all regions of Brazil, with a large concentration in the north of the country – 30% of those registered are from the state of Amazonas and 26% from Pará, and there are also proposals from Mato Grosso, Rondônia, Tocantins, Amapá and Acre. The Call opened the possibility of registering initiatives from other regions, as long as they assumed the commitment to start operations in the Amazon in the next six months.
The registered businesses operate in the areas of sustainable agriculture and livestock (24%), sustainable forest management and production (23%), environmental products and services (20%), education for environmental conservation (9%), mitigation/adaptation of climate change (4%), waste/garbage treatment with benefits for rural populations and communities (14%) and monitoring/combating illegal activities (1%).
Most of the initiatives are in the organization phase for scale gains, but there are projects in all phases, from ideation, validation, prototyping, pilot, traction, pre-scale and scale.
The businesses also relate to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a greater concentration on SDGs number 12 (Sustainable Production and Consumption), 08 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), 13 (Action Against Global Climate Change) and 02 (Zero Hunger and Sustainable Agriculture).
For Mariano Cenamo, Director of New Businesses at the Institute for Conservation and Sustainable Development of the Amazon (Idesam) and Executive Coordinator of PPA, the result of the Call surprised not only by the quantity, but also by the diversity of registered businesses: “The quality and the stage of development of these businesses are surprising. We had from very small and promising businesses of associations and community cooperatives of rural producers, startups at an early stage, with extremely innovative ideas, to companies that are already consolidated, with revenues above BRL 5 million, which work with fundamental value chains to promote the sustainable development in the Amazon. It was a very big challenge to select the businesses that will go to the next phase of the selection process, but we are sure that the result is already extremely impactful”.
Anna Tonnes, USAID/Brazil Acting Director, assesses that the increase in the number of participants in the Call is a clear sign that the impactful business environment is strong and there is a search for opportunities on the part of entrepreneurs: “There has always been a doubt if in remote areas like the Amazon, initiatives like this would make sense. The results are there and they say yes. For USAID/Brazil, it is a privilege to be part of the Partnership Platform for the Amazon and to contribute, through the PPA Call for Businesses, to the sustainable development of the Amazon and the conservation of its biodiversity”.
Of the total of 201 enrolled, 36 businesses were classified for the next phase of the Call – which includes interviews and visits to the projects – and compete for participation in a business round with investors for financial contributions of up to BRL 800 thousand and for vacancies in the Acceleration of PPA, which includes face-to-face thematic training, personalized mentoring, coworking, legal, accounting, marketing and branding, as well as scholarships for participation in training and events.
The sum of the annual revenue of the registered businesses adds up to a value of the order of BRL 44 million, and the total investment demand of the registered businesses is BRL 187 million. Of the 201 businesses, 47% signed up to participate in the Acceleration Program and the business round.
For Livia Hollerbach, from Pipe.Social, the increase in the number of registered businesses brings “more opportunities to foster a sustainable forest economy and more innovation to face social and environmental challenges in the Amazon region. And for the Impact Business sector, we celebrate the strengthening of the northern region of the country, which is beginning to attract the attention of investors and support organizations for impact entrepreneurs. An important achievement of the PPA platform that can and should inspire initiatives in other regions of Brazil.”
The 2019 PPA Call for Businesses is an accomplishment of PPA, with coordination by Idesam and financial support from USAID, CIAT, Instituto Humanize and Fundo Vale. It has a partnership with Pipe Social, Center for Entrepreneurship in the Amazon, Centro de Vida Institute (ICV), CERTI Foundation, Rede Amazônica Foundation, FIIMP, NESsT, Sitawi, ICE and Conexsus and support from the following companies and organizations: Natura, Instituto Peabiru , Amazon Conservation Team (Ecam) Bemol, DD&L, Whirpool Cervejaria Ambev, Beraca, Agropalma, Abrapalma, Althelia and Grupo Rede Amazônica.