New Ventures supports business solutions to the challenges of sustainable development by accelerating the growth of environmental enterprise in emerging markets.
In 1999, the World Resources Institute established its pioneering New Ventures project to serve as a hub of environmental entrepreneurship – providing business development services to environmentally-focused small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets.
In 2012, New Ventures was operating in six countries – Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, and Mexico. These countries are home to 46% of the world’s population, over 12% of its GDP, and house 25% of the protected biodiversity areas on the planet. Their collective impact on earth’s sustainability is enormous.
With the recognition that the New Ventures Local Centers built strong, distinct programs in their respective countries, the World Resources Institute concluded its role as coordinator for the New Ventures global network in December 2012, moving New Ventures into its next phase of development. Read WRI’s statement on this transition.
Local Centers: Localizing the Approach to Addressing Global Challenges
Click to learn more about each Center and opportunities for involvement.
- New Ventures Brazil: Sustainable Hub
- New Ventures China: Institute for Environment and Development (IED)
- New Ventures Colombia: Universidad de los Andes School of Management
- New Ventures India: Regain Paradise Research Consulting Pvt Ltd
- New Ventures Indonesia: The Apex Consulting Group
- New Ventures Mexico: New Ventures Mexico
Between 1999 and 2012, New Ventures worked with 367 innovative enterprises whose goods and services produce clear, measurable environmental benefits. Collectively these businesses received over $377 million in investment capital and held two Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) that raised approximately $100 million.
In addition, New Ventures developed metrics and practices to measure and promote the positive environmental impacts of companies.
- 3,306,786 tons of carbon dioxide emissions reduced or avoided from products and services
- 4,534,243 hectares of land conserved or sustainably cultivated
- 5,788,495,460 liters of water produced, treated, or saved from products and services
Each dollar of funds granted to New Ventures helped facilitate 28 dollars of investment to these entrepreneurs.
The Importance of SMEs in Emerging Markets
Entrepreneurs and the SMEs they often create are central to private-sector development—stimulating the growth of the local private sector in developing countries and helping markets to function well. As engines of economic growth and laboratories for environmental and social innovation, SMEs are helping to build modern economies that improve people’s lives while conserving natural resources. This is especially true in developing countries where such businesses can account for as many as four in five jobs and almost a third of GDP.
Despite the critical role they play in emerging markets, SMEs face severe barriers in accessing finance to scale their businesses. Smart, practical support for enterprises that can improve environmental conditions in these countries is not a choice we have: it’s an imperative. New Ventures enterprises are developing innovative technologies and business models that can play a vital role in sustainable economic development by delivering financial, environmental and social returns.
The New Ventures Approach
New Ventures supports enterprises that address specific environmental issues through their activity. Many New Ventures enterprises offer essential products and services that help under-served communities progress out of poverty. In its selection process, New Ventures prioritizes enterprises that seek the following results:
- biodiversity conservation
- energy efficiency
- natural resource conservation (non-water, non-energy, non-agriculture)
- pollution prevention and waste reduction
- sustainable energy
- water resource management