ImpactAlpha, January 24 — Acceso Impact Fund has raised $4.5 million to invest in impact businesses in Central America and the Caribbean. The evergreen fund is a partnership between Guatemalan investment manager Grupo IDC and Alterna, which is aiming to build an ecosystem of impact businesses in Central America.
With revenue-based loans and a gender-lens approach, Acceso is looking to provide working capital for businesses led by, employing or serving women. Loans of between $100,000 and $1 million would be repaid within five years at a fixed rate, up to 5% of yearly revenues, Acceso’s Margarita Klose and Ruthmarie Mayen told ImpactAlpha.
“If they don’t sell anything, then they don’t have to pay anything,” Mayen said. “For us, when you give businesses capital that they need to grow in a way that is flexible to them, then you make an impact.”
The women-led fund received a $3 million allocation from IDB Lab, half of which has been matched by Grupo IDC. Grupo IDC plans to raise at least $1.5 million this year to fully match IDB Lab’s commitment. Acceso, launched late last year, is looking to raise at least $10 million. Alterna and IDC will cover Acceso’s management expenses for the first two years.
Acceso is looking to invest in up to eight businesses this year. Klose said the fund has a deep pipeline in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and the Dominican Republic. Acceso will look for businesses with between $500,000 and $3 million in yearly revenue.
The fund has backed three companies, including Guatemala’s Cassa, a sustainable construction company using natural materials like bamboo to build homes, and sustainable textiles companies Luum and Meema.