Promoting triple impact economy innovation hubs and education in Latin America
Triple impact businesses, understood as those that are committed to being profitable and contribute positively to their communities and the planet, will be crucial to the type of inclusive and sustainable post-pandemic recovery that is required in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The reports of the Global Impact Investing Network and the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs validate that more than USD 25 billion in impact investing assets focus on LAC alone. However, there are lingering gaps in the adoption of this new economic model across the region at scale, as well as in the proportion of impact investing ventures that put women and other excluded groups at the forefront, including in key fields for regional growth like science, technology, engineering and mathematics. A key element to address the gap is fostering regional cross-learning and collaboration to successfully adapt and adopt these new models of economic innovation for triple impact.
A second critical element in addressing the growth gaps of triple impact ventures is to re-examine the role that higher education institutions can play in preparing students in triple impact entrepreneurial concepts and values. However, an IDRC supported 2021 analysis of LAC’s educational curricula by Tecnologico de Monterrey, Sistema B, Universidad de los Andes y Universidad Continental shows that it is predominantly limited to traditional concepts of entrepreneurship and basic corporate social responsibility. Moreover, an INCAE study (2020), also supported by IDRC, shows that current entrepreneurship training, business incubation and acceleration is amplifying gender inequalities by virtue of being predominantly gender blind.
This project proposes to foster four regional triple impact economy innovation hubs, support new research on gender gaps in this field, and strengthen triple impact entrepreneurship and innovation education to help transform the role that impact investing and entrepreneurship can play in supporting LAC’s inclusive development at scale; nurture the next generation of female and excluded impact entrepreneurs and investors that can shape the new economy; and help address the barriers that amplify the entrepreneurial gender gap through new research, with an intersectional lens.