Derek Newberry

Angels in Sao Paulo – Evidence of the Increasing Role of Partnerships

nv brazilThe Financial Times today released an insightful series of reports on corporate citizenship and philanthropy. It’s especially worth taking a look at the articles on social investment and social entrepreneurship as they explore the trend of increasing convergence between the non-profit and private sectors. I’ll refrain from a debate on the possible ethical issues with these interminglings, and instead focus on this development as a sign that entrepreneurs and investors alike are taking triple-bottom-line impacts seriously not just in word but in deed as well.

How much the times have changed as the old antagonists of the environmental movement are becoming our best friends – witness the Angel Investor meeting that our New Ventures partners in Brazil held last week. For the first time, S?o Paulo has an official angel investor network, the S?o Paulo Anjos (SPA), bringing together wealthy and socially-minded financiers to channel their investment toward philanthropreneur-type enterprises. New Ventures Brazil at FGV hosted the SPA as they announced a “soft launch” of the network – a pretty good example of why in the same report, the Financial Times ranked our parent group, WRI, 3rd among global organizations for private-sector partnerships.

Environmental NGOs as a whole have come a long way in their ability to form these crucial linkages; working relationships that only endure because of the mutual benefit our partners in the business and financial communities are receiving. The investor event last week evidenced the increasingly interweaving objectives of our work and with attendees like Rio Bravo Investimentos and Novarum, there is plenty of reason to believe that the TBL movement is becoming mainstreamed (hopefully for good).