NGO and SME fund
Washington, District of Columbia
Agora Partnerships accelerates the growth of early-stage impact companies in Latin America. We are a global community of entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, and individuals dedicated to using the power of business to effect positive change in their communities. We work only with early-stage entrepreneurs where the right kind of support can significantly accelerate their ability to create impact. Our aim is to help build a more just, sustainable world primarily though our Impact Accelerator program, which provides entrepreneurs with access to social, human, and financial capital.
We believe B Lab’s insights can be applied to businesses in developing countries – helping them understand how to be better corporate citizens and giving them a way to alert customers and investors that they practice what they preach.
Over the course of the last two years, eighteen businesses have participated in Agora's Accelerator, which provides entrepreneurs with personalized consulting, mentors, leadership development, and the opportunity to pitch to impact investors from around the world. All entrepreneurs are GIIRS rated, and Agora plans to become the biggest provider of GIIRS-rated businesses in the world.
The Change We Seek®
Agora Partnerships seeks to help grassroots, socially responsible small businesses in the developing world create jobs and fight poverty and inequality.
• Business, no matter how big or small, must take into account the needs of shareholders, employees, customers, and the environment. Agora is committed to helping small business entrepreneurs become leaders and role models in their community for the way they run their business. They recognize that the most powerful force for attacking poverty is people and their will to create value where none exists or can even be imagined. Building trust and investing in relationships with change agents helps them live up to their potential to make a difference in their communities.
Agora Partnerships Results
•There are many investors, consultants, technicians, students and professionals who want to help socially responsible developing world entrepreneurs overcome the odds but don't know how. Through our Accelerator, Agora allows these people to engage in socially responsible investing. By connecting this “missing middle” with a variety of willing investors, Agora fills the gap between microfinance and larger-scale investments and lending.
• Businesses working with Agora have increased the number of full-time jobs they contribute to their communities by 17%. 83% of startups coming out of Agora’s process were still functioning one year after launch. On average, Agora supported businesses have increased their profits by 57%.
Agora Impact Accelerator Results
•Agora’s first Accelerator was founded in 2011 and included nine selected companies from an assortment of sectors and four different Central American countries. Over 50% of participating companies received investment. In 2012, we selected nine companies from Central America and Mexico, of which nearly 70% are currently in negotiations with investors.
•In less than two years, Accelerator companies have attracted more than US$3,500,000 dollars in investment. In 2013, we will be accepting over 30 companies from throughout Latin America.
What makes us a better company?
B Impact Report
The Governance section of the Assessment evaluates a company's accountability and transparency. The section focuses on the company's mission, stakeholder engagement, and overall transparency of the company's practices and policies.
The Worker section of the survey assesses the company's relationship with its workforce. This section measures how the company treats its workers through compensation, benefits, training, and ownership opportunities provided to workers. It also focuses on the overall work environment within the company through management/worker communication, job flexibility and corporate culture, and worker health and safety practices.
The Community section of the survey assesses a company's impact on its community. The Community section evaluates a company's supplier relations, diversity, and involvement in the local community. The section also measures the company's practices and policies around community service and charitable giving. In addition, this section includes if a company's product or service is designed to solve a social issue, including access to basic services, health, education, economic opportunity, arts, and increasing the flow of capital to purpose-driven enterprises.
The Environment section of the Assessment evaluates a company's environmental performance through its facilities; materials, resource, and energy use; and emissions. Where applicable, it also considers a company's transportation/distribution channels and environmental impact of its supply chain. This section also measures whether a company's products or services are designed to solve an environmental issue, including products that aid in the provision of renewable energy, conserve resources, reduce waste, promote land/wildlife conservation, prevent toxic/hazardous substance or pollution, or educate, measure, or consult to solve environmental problems.
|Overall B Score||80|
80 out of 200 is eligible for certification
*Of all businesses that have completed the B Impact Assessment
*Median scores will not add up to overall
Employees: 100% employees offered reimbursement for continuing education Living wage paid to all full and part time employees 6+ weeks paid maternity leave for tenured employees
Community: >40% local, independent suppliers >Majority banking services provided by local, independent bank >50% owned by a non-profit >50% profits given to charity >30% employees from low-income communities >40% suppliers majority owned by women or ethnic minorities >25% employees work in low-income communities >25% suppliers from low-income communities
Consumers: Invests in small and medium enterprises in developing countries in order to create jobs in those communities
Social Impact Report
• Agora Partnerships' Social Impact Report Go»