Sitawi opens a new round of collective loans aimed at businesses with a positive impact in the Amazon

THE Sitawi good finance opens this Thursday (12) a new round of Sitawi Collective Loan Platform and, this time, businesses with a positive socio-environmental impact on the Amazon Rainforest will receive investment. This is the second fundraising carried out on the Platform, which successfully completed its first round in 2019. 

Five businesses participate this time: COEX Carajás, a cooperative in Parauapebas (PA) whose mission is to generate income and recover forests through the extraction and sale of forest products; Na'kau, from Manaus (AM), which produces chocolate from the sustainable production of cocoa by agroextractivist riverside communities; ok, from Ananindeua (PA), which produces juices with fruits native to the Amazon for the national and international markets in a sustainable way and on an industrial scale; Practice Engineering, from Manaus (AM), which sells and installs solar panels at affordable prices for isolated quilombola communities in Calha Norte in the State of Pará, as an alternative to diesel generators; It is Tucum Brazil, headquartered in Rio de Janeiro (RJ) and operating nationally by promoting the art of indigenous and traditional populations in the country, generating cultural appreciation and income for their communities. Together, the five businesses contribute to 9 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The collective loan platform is an initiative of Sitawi It's from Sabin Institute. The Amazon Round takes place in the context of the PPA (Partners for the Amazon Platform) and has as strategic partners and funders the USAID (United States Agency for International Development), the CIAT (International Center for Tropical Agriculture), the Humanize Institute, and as an execution partner the Idesam (Institute for the Conservation and Sustainable Development of the Amazon).

Opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs 

Through the Collective Loan Platform Sitawi, anyone can invest from R$ 1 thousand in one or more of the five businesses with a positive impact on the Amazon participating in the round. It works by peer-to-peer lending, modality in which a person lends money directly to another person or company digitally. 

Does the platform provide? in addition to the positive impact, aligned with the cause of forest conservation and investor values ? a return equivalent to 12% per year, or 289% from the CDI (considering the rate on March 5, 2020), attractive rate especially in times of low interest rates.

The round will contribute to mobilizing R$ 3.2 million, of which approximately 30% will be raised from individuals who want to support forest conservation and have financial return. Together with individuals, the so-called anchor investors participate in the round, who act to reduce risks and attract market investors. In addition to own Sitawi, they are anchor investors in the new round Humanize Institute, a USAID, O Valley Fund, O FIIMP (Impact Foundations and Institutes) and the Amazon Network Group, being the first four through the PPA

At the same time, the Platform is an advantageous option for the entrepreneur, who finds better interest conditions in relation to what he could get in the market. Entrepreneurs also receive technical support and consultancy from Sitawi and partners throughout the journey.

According to Pipe Social, in their study 2019 Impact Map, 80% of businesses with a positive socio-environmental impact in Brazil are looking for investments. Of these, half are raising contributions between R$ 100 thousand and R$ 1 million, the scarcest range of financing in the market. ?Does our financing solution meet this entrepreneur profile, who has little access to investment funds and cheap bank credit, but who has created a business that generates impact?, explains Andrea Resende, Social Finance Manager at Sitawi

how to invest

The platform is available at Stakeholders can view the business profile, impact and financial projections. To participate, investors must complete a digital registration and provide information typically requested by investment platforms, as well as answer a questionnaire about their investor profile. After choosing the supported businesses, the person makes the investment reservation and, to confirm, they must carry out a TED. Upon completion of funding, loan contracts are issued between the parties and CDBV (Linked Bank Deposit Certificate) securities are sent to each investor, which are issued to prove the investment. 

In up to 24 months, investors will have received all the borrowed money back, plus interest. The entire operation is carried out in partnership with CapRate, mediated by Topaz Bank and with office support TozziniFreire Advogados and consultancy and communication agency for social impact businesses Impact Workshop. Throughout the contract, investors receive up-to-date information, such as monitoring and a report on the socio-environmental impact of the invested businesses, their finances and business. 

Conservation of the Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon is the largest rainforest on the planet, and is also a repository of ecological services for indigenous peoples, communities and the world. She plays a key role in global climate regulation, and works as a carbon stock. The transpiration of the leaves of the trees to release the excess water captured by the roots is fundamental for the rainfall regime in the Center-West, South and Southeast of Brazil, in a phenomenon known as ?flying rivers?. 

However, data released by the National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) in January 2020 point out that deforestation in the forest grew by 183% in December 2019, compared to the same month in 2018. Also according to the Institute, between August 2018 and July 2019, there was an increase of 29.5% compared to the previous year. It is the highest percentage growth in 20 years. This devastation reduces biodiversity, and the burning of trees releases carbon into the atmosphere, amplifying global warming. And all this directly affects the Amazonian peoples, who survive from the sustainable use of natural resources. 

Invest in businesses that value the economy of the forest ? generating biodiversity conservation, income for their communities and preserving the local culture ? it is a way of contributing to the conservation of the Amazon Forest and to a change in the region's development model. The five impact businesses participating in the Amazon round of Sitawi are heading in that direction. They are part of a socio-environmental entrepreneurship network that is already a reality in the Amazon, but which needs investment and support to consolidate its operations. 

?With the Colective Loan Platform, we support this new generation of impact organizations in the Amazon, giving visibility to the movement and allowing investors from all over the country to actively contribute to the protection of natural resources in one of the richest and most important regions of the planet ?, affirms Andrea. 

Sitawi and impact investing in the Amazon

This funding round focused on Amazon businesses is the result of the experience of Sitawi with the implementation of financial solutions for high-impact businesses throughout Brazil and social, environmental and economic development projects in the Amazon.

Since 2017, the Sitawi coordinates the Middle Juruá Territory Program, which takes place in the municipality of Carauari, in the state of Amazonas, together with 64 communities distributed along the Juruá river and in the Middle Juruá extractive reserve and Uacari sustainable development reserve. With the participation of local companies, NGOs and corporations gathered in the Medium Juruá Territory Forum, the Program aims to biodiversity conservation, through the implementation of a territorial development plan for the region.

THE Sitawi is also responsible for the study Impact Investment in the Amazon: paths to sustainable development, launched in 2018 at the 1st Impact Investment and Sustainable Business Forum in the Amazon (FIINSA). The material points to the need to create and introduce new solutions based on innovative business models in the Amazon, highlighting challenges and opportunities for investing in purposeful businesses in the region.

Context of the PPA

In 2019, the Sitawi became part of Partners for the Amazon Platform (PPA), a platform for collective action, led by the private sector, which seeks to build innovative, tangible and practical solutions for sustainable development, conservation of biodiversity, forests and natural resources in the Amazon. One of its initiatives is the PPA Acceleration Program, which selects organizations through annual calls. The last call received 201 applications and selected 15 businesses to be accelerated in 2020.

In December 2019, the Program raised R$ 4.8 million in investments in a business roundtable between investors and startups. Of the 15 selected by the Program, five are part of the second round of collective loans from Sitawi.

“We were very happy to have the Sitawi as a partner and investor, implementing the collective loan round for the 2020 PPA Business Call. ?, evaluate Mariano Cenamo, coordinator of the PPA Acceleration Program and new business director at Idesam.

See more about the businesses participating in this round?

COEX Carajás

Created in 2011, the Carajás National Forest Extractive Cooperative (COEX Carajás) its mission is to generate income for the local population through extractivism within the reserve. The main activity of COEX Carajás is the extraction of jaborandi leaves, which are raw materials for the formulation of cosmetic and pharmaceutical products, such as eye drops for eye diseases and glaucoma. Jaborandi leaves have been harvested for commercial purposes since the 1980s, but it was only with the work of the cooperative that the value became advantageous for extractivists: currently a kilo is sold for 16 reais. All cooperative members receive training so that the extraction of jaborandi is sustainable and with the appropriate techniques, guaranteeing its conservation. COEX Carajás currently has 39 cooperative members, and the 34 who work in the collection of jaborandi leaves spend the months of June to December in the forest, traveling on foot between the extraction points and camping overnight. During this period, they leave the forest for short periods to rest and to take the bags of leaves, which can weigh up to 40 kilos, to trucks that carry out the rest of the journey. The cooperative also sells native seeds for reforestation of other species, with mining projects operating in the region as clients. The activity of COEX Carajás has already helped in the recovery of more than a thousand hectares of forest in Brazil.

Thirst: Parauapebas, PA
Founded in: 2011
President of the biennium 2019/2020: Ana Paula Ferreira Nascimento, 25 years old and the only woman in the cooperative
How much are you earning: R$ 413,414, of which R$ 160,594 for the Collective Loan platform Sitawi
How you intend to use the investment: the investment will be used to expand the collection and sale front of native seeds for reforestation, increasing and improving the quality of the stock, training members with specific techniques for removing different types of seed, and acquiring new vehicles for transport.


THE na?kau was created in 2003 and its main product is the Chocolate Na?kau, produced since 2017 with Amazonian cocoa purchased from agroextractivist riverside communities. It was born out of a concern to conserve the Amazon rainforest by providing ethical and wholesome food, including the Amazonian peoples. Today it works with 30 families of cocoa producers, buying about 600 kilos of the fruit from each one a month. The income generated is enough for cocoa to be the only economic source for many of them, preventing them from resorting to activities that harm the forest. In addition to valuing producers with fair remuneration, Na?kau carries its legacy in its products, bringing stories and photographs of community members in its packaging. The producers are located on the Madeira and Amazon rivers, being a conservation unit and an agrarian reform settlement, in the municipalities of Manicoré, Nova Olinda, Novo Aripuanã, Borba, Boa Vista do Ramos and Maués. Currently, Na?kau chocolate is sold at 180 points of sale in nine states of Brazil, 70 of which in the Amazonian capital, and is also exported to countries such as the United States, Japan, Germany, Portugal and Switzerland. 

Thirst: Manaus, AM
Founded in: 2003
Founder: Artur Coimbra, 37 years old
How much are you earning: R$ 1.896.458, being R$ 255.766 through the Collective Loan platform Sitawi
How you intend to use the investment:  the investment will be used to expand the sales front, including working capital to buy more cocoa from producers, hiring new employees, improving marketing and acquiring more machinery. 

OK Juice

THE ok Juice is a company founded in 2018, whose mission is to be a national and international reference in the production of food associated with the conservation of the Amazon Forest. It was born as an option on an industrial scale to offer ready-made juices with fruits native to the Amazon, such as açaí, cupuaçu, taperebá and bacuri, which are normally sold to Brazil and the world in the form of pulp. The entire production cycle is designed in a sustainable way so that it generates the least amount of waste and negative environmental impacts. In addition to this production, the company aims to serve the chain from one end to the other, from the production of inputs, training of suppliers, recovery of the forest area, use of suppliers of bottles and labels in the region to the reverse logistics of packaging. Plastic bottles collected after use are transformed into tubes of fruit tree seedlings, which are donated and planted for reforestation and creation of agroforestry systems. Today OKA is in 70 points of sale in Belém and Ananindeua.

Thirst: Ananindeua, PA
Founded in: 2018
Members: Bruno Moraes (co-founder), 40 years old; Paulo Roberto Araujo Junior (co-founder), 33 years old; and José Bonifácio Sena, 34 years old
How much are you earning: R$ 160.819, being R$ 67.440 through the Collective Loan platform Sitawi
How you intend to use the investment:  the investment will be used for commercial expansion, allowing the entry of juices in large supermarket chains in Belém, working capital to increase the purchase of raw materials and also to acquire new equipment.

Practice Engineering

Founded in 2018, the Practice Engineering is a company whose mission is to provide access to clean electricity for isolated communities in Brazil. Pratika supplies and installs, at affordable prices, kits for obtaining solar energy for isolated quilombola communities in Calha Norte in the State of Pará, such as Oriximiná, Terra Santa and Santarém. The kits vary according to the needs of each client and allow the installation of equipment such as a television and refrigerator, which are still rare in these regions. In this way, the organization promotes a positive social impact, providing better quality of life for needy populations that live in places that are very difficult to access. At the same time, it reduces negative environmental externalities by replacing diesel generators with clean energy sources.

Thirst: Manaus, AM
Founded in: 2018
Founders: Adriano Santos Pantoja Lima, 29 years old, and Geovani Cordeiro dos Santos, 28 years old
How much are you earning: R$ 413.105, being R$ 321.413 through the Collective Loan platform Sitawi
How you intend to use the investment:  the investment will be used to increase the stock – since some of the materials are brought from other states, and this logistics tends to take time – and to improve the transport of kits by boat to the communities.


Founded in 2012, the tucum its mission is to value and promote the art of indigenous and traditional populations in Brazil, generating income for their communities. The organization does this through commercial partnerships with associations, cooperatives, producer groups or artists, buying indigenous handicrafts and reselling them through its website and partner physical stores. The work is guided by ethics, legality, sustainability, respect for local realities and economically balanced relationships. The development of the handicraft production chain promotes sustainable income generation, appreciation of culture, empowerment of women and circulation throughout the territory, as a counterpoint to involvement in mining and wood activities. Tucum is recognized by the Origens Brasil seal and currently works with 2,500 artisans in 31 indigenous lands and/or protected areas, representing 54 ethnic groups.

Thirst: Rio de Janeiro - RJ
Founded in: 2012
Founders: Amanda Santana, 37 years old; Fernando Niemeyer, 36 years old; and Thiago Vedova, 37 years old
How much are you earning: R$ 371.472, being R$ 129.216 through the Collective Loan platform Sitawi
How you intend to use the investment:  the investment will be used to transform the Tucum website into a platform where the indigenous communities themselves can manage their sales and relate directly with buyers, which also involves training artisans to use it, create their stocks and carry out the packaging and shipping orders. In addition, Tucum will improve the marketing front and use part of the investment as working capital to increase inventory and buy handicrafts from more peoples and ethnic groups.

For more information access:

*CDI on 03/05/2020

Text: Impact Workshop

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