Economic development in Colombian post-conflict areas
Truvalu invests in and does business with companies in the agrifood sector. Through a self- developed co-entrepreneurship approach, Truvalu currently participates in approximately 30 companies in South America (Bolivia, Paraguay, Colombia), East Africa (Kenya) and Asia (Bangladesh and India). With the use of local teams in the focus countries of Colombia, Kenya and Bangladesh, Truvalu provides business support, market entry and capital.
Truvalu invests between $ 110,000 and $ 280,000 in each company and functions as a long- term strategic partner. These companies can still make significant progress in their development, resulting in a stronger business model and growing impact. This is exactly what Truvalu is striving to accomplish.
Rural Paz Colombia
Truvalu carries out the ‘Rural Paz’ project in Columbia, which is funded, among others, by the European Union. This project contributes to the economic development of the post-conflict areas of Nariño and Putumayo. For decades, these areas have been ravaged by a guerilla war with the FARC. In close cooperation with strategic partners, Truvalu has selected ten promising small and medium sized enterprises. Truvalu supports these businesses on strategy, funding, marketing & sales, and other business activities with the purpose of making them ‘investment ready’. Five to six companies will receive an investment from Truvalu’s local investment fund enabling them to grow and increase the impact on the local community. The selected companies are active in the processing of, among others, superfruits, coconuts, dried fruit, oils and cocoa.
The companies Truvalu invests in play a crucial role in the development of the local economy and in the improvement of living conditions of local farmers. Jobs are created, incomes rise and people have access to better opportunities. Being a farmer regains a positive outlook, which provides a good alternative to the migration to large cities. Farmers again become a role model for the younger generation.
Of the portfolio companies of Truvalo, approximately 40% of employees and suppliers are women. Furthermore, 60% is under 35 years old. The impact Truvalo creates contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals 2, 8 and 12.
The Rural Paz project contributes to peace and stability in the regions hit by years of terror from the guerilla war. Through the stimulation of agri-businesses, opportunities are created for farmers to cultivate other products than the cocaine of the past. Over 2,000 farmers benefit from the Rural Paz project in Colombia. In addition, more than 200 jobs are either created or sustained.
By funding $370,000, Truvalu capitalizes the local fund while the EU matches that same amount. These funds are used to finance the first batch of selected companies. Thanks to the mediation of MissionInvest, this funding was realized in October 2020.
'MissionInvest has a warm network of involved investors. Wim’s efforts have brought together such an investor and our vision and mission. What is important here is not just financing; it is a passion and drive to make a difference. This is what binds us all together, investors and entrepreneurs. MissionInvest plays the important role here of connecting the right people!' - Jaap Jan Verboom, Director of Truvalu