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Argentina wants a slice of the impact investment pie

Attracting impact investors is part of Argentina President Mauricio Macri plan to rebuild the country’s investment environment.

The country has for the most part been left out of the private investment game for the past 15 years, after an economic crisis in 1998 and currency crisis in 2002.

Impact investing is no different. Mexico, Colombia and Brazil attracted most of Latin America’s $7.2 billion share of last year’s $114 billion in global impact capital.

To get on the impact-investing map, Argentina is reorienting policies to be more pro-investment in general. It also is adopting legislation to encourage social entrepreneurship in the country. “The government’s social agenda is so big that it can’t cope alone, nor can philanthropy — so you need something else,” a government insider told the Financial Times [paywall].

Early shoots: a Buenos Aires-based early-stage venture firm is raising a $120 million impact fund with backing from the Inter-American Development Bank. The city of Buenos Aires is looking into a social-impact bond as a solution to youth unemployment.

Sebastian Welisiejko, the former executive director of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment, tells ImpactAlpha he has returned to Argentina (his homeland) to take a senior position in the Cabinet Office “with the mission of putting Impact Investment on the public agenda.”

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