After 13 years of building support for environmental entrepreneurship, the World Resources Institute will conclude its role as coordinator for the New Ventures global network at the end of 2012. WRI recognizes that the New Ventures Local Centers have built strong, distinct programs in their respective countries, and we are confident that greater local and regional independence will allow New Ventures to move into its next phase of development. Following is a statement by Manish Bapna, Managing Director, WRI:

WRI is extraordinarily proud of New Ventures’ accomplishments and impact in enabling the growth of environmentally focused entrepreneurs in emerging markets. Founded by WRI in 1999, New Ventures has provided business development support to 362 innovative small and medium enterprises (SMEs) whose goods and services produce clear, measurable environmental benefits, such as clean energy, efficient water use, and sustainable agriculture. Oftentimes these goods and services address the challenges experienced by the world’s poor. New Ventures has also facilitated $290 million of investment into these SMEs, helping them scale their businesses and yield positive impacts.

WRI has been privileged to partner with expert local organizations in establishing New Ventures Local Centers in six of the world’s most dynamic emerging economies:

  • 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

SMEs in emerging markets play a critical role in the economy by creating jobs and spurring growth. As the need for sustainable economic development intensifies, New Ventures enterprises continue to prove that innovative technologies and business models can deliver environmental, social, and financial returns.

Much has been accomplished in the world of entrepreneurship over the past decade, including the formation of new investment vehicles emphasizing environmental and social returns (alongside financial returns), the creation of associations and alliances that bring together key actors, and development banks’ and agencies’ capital and technical assistance commitments to pursue development solutions through private enterprise.

However, there is still much more to be done. As the world tackles environmental challenges such as water scarcity, climate change, deforestation, and pollution—against the backdrop of continuing population growth—entrepreneurs will continue to be sources of innovation and action. Organizations supporting these entrepreneurs on the ground, like the New Ventures Local Centers, will continue to play a vital role in nurturing their efforts, affording them the resources necessary to scale their impact.

New Ventures – and the entrepreneurs and investors it works with – have proven that profitable enterprises can be created and scaled while simultaneously protecting natural resources and improving livelihoods. It is a model that will endure and create pathways for many others with ambition and dedication to sustainable economic development. WRI looks forward to many more extraordinary accomplishments for New Ventures in the coming years.