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NESsT and IKEA Social Entrepreneurship Extend South America Accelerator Partnership to Address Regional Inequality and Environme

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. , September 19 /Businesswire/ - NESsT, global impact investor and venture philanthropist, and IKEA Social Entrepreneurship announced today a three-year extension of their co-created partnership, the South America Accelerator Program. The program will invest in 22 new social enterprises across Chile, Colombia, and Peru over the next three years. The South America Accelerator Program will create and maintain 2,500 formal, fairly-compensated jobs while improving their environmental practices and sustaining the planet. The program was formerly known as the Latin America Accelerator Program.

Wealth inequality is one of the greatest challenges across South America, where the top 10 percent of the wealthiest individuals hold more than 54 percent of national income. The region is also facing pressing environmental issues. To address these challenges, the South America Accelerator Program is investing in businesses that can create and sustain formal, fairly-compensated jobs with career growth potential while conserving the environment.

“The NESsT - IKEA Social Entrepreneurship South America Accelerator Program is rooted in the power of knowledge sharing and partnership to drive long-term change,” said Nicole Etchart, Co-Founder and CEO of NESsT. “IKEA Social Entrepreneurship continues to be a tremendous partner in helping us make a positive and lasting impact in South America. Our two organizations share the same commitment to address critical systemic and institutional challenges facing the region, and together, we have the resources and expertise to do so.”

The Accelerator Program provides enterprises with patient capital in the form of recoverable grants, business support to expand their reach and impact across national and global markets, and access to industry mentors from NESsT’s and IKEA Social Entrepreneurship’s networks.

NESsT and IKEA Social Entrepreneurship’s journey started in 2020, driven by a shared vision to harness the potential of social entrepreneurship to address critical global challenges. The partnership launched the Latin America Accelerator Program in 2020, which invested in 17 social enterprises, sustaining 1,500 jobs for excluded individuals across the region.

Since then, NESsT and IKEA Social Entrepreneurship have launched three additional accelerator programs around the world – the most recent program, launched in 2022, provides long-term employment and integration support to refugees in Poland and Romania.

Building on the initial impact and learnings of the first Accelerator Program, NESsT and IKEA Social Entrepreneurship will invest in 22 new social enterprises in Chile, Colombia, and Peru over the course of the next three years. The goal of the program is to support the selected enterprises to create and maintain 2,500 formal, fairly-compensated jobs while improving their environmental practices and sustaining the planet.

As the partnership extends, NESsT and IKEA Social Entrepreneurship celebrate the exit of five enterprises, including Pomario, Próxima Servicios, Cafe Compadre, Incluyeme, and Empanacombi. Pomario, an organic farm in Medellín prioritizing sustainable agriculture practices and inclusive employment, is graduating from the Accelerator Program to the NESsT Lirio Fund. Supported by the Accelerator Program, these enterprises have grown significantly in three years, and are now poised for further investments as they continue driving regional change.

“By supporting social enterprises creating inclusive livelihoods, the South America Accelerator Program contributes towards generating local economic growth, job stability, and protecting the environment,” said Åsa Skogström Feldt, managing director at IKEA Social Entrepreneurship. “The impact of our partnership with NESsT goes far beyond the numbers – it’s about forging a pathway toward a more equitable society and a greener future for South America.”

The Accelerator Program will continue to connect participating enterprises to corporate partners, encourage sustainable development, and promote the circular economy. This is especially vital in South America, which has been deeply affected and is among the hardest hit by the effects of climate change, including pollution, waste proliferation, soil degradation, and deforestation.

Among the enterprises currently within the Accelerator Program, 41% are led by Indigenous individuals, women, and local community members – those who are most impacted by climate change.

For more information on how to apply for the South America Accelerator, visit this link.

About NESsT

NESsT is a catalyst for social enterprises in global emerging markets. NESsT provides financial capital, training and mentoring, and access to markets for a high-impact portfolio of social enterprises that solve critical social problems within marginalized communities across Central and Eastern Europe and Latin America. Since its founding in 1997, NESsT has invested over $27M, trained and supported over 30,000 entrepreneurs, and accelerated and financed 233 enterprises sustaining more than 89,000 formal jobs, improving the lives of over one million people.

About IKEA Social Entrepreneurship

Founded in 2018, IKEA Social Entrepreneurship B.V invests in social entrepreneurs by providing grants and loans, giving them access to new markets, and sharing our knowledge so they can reach more people and have a bigger impact.

IKEA Social Entrepreneurship works with social entrepreneurs who are creating a more equal and inclusive society, while also fighting the root causes of inequality, exclusion and the ability to earn an income. By collaborating, supporting and doing business with social entrepreneurs, IKEA Social Entrepreneurship can play a part in transforming communities into places that are full of opportunities for many generations to come.

STORY TAGS: Contract/Agreement, United States, South America, North America, Fund Raising, Environment, Foundation, Other Philanthropy, Philanthropy, Florida,


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