The Economy of Deforestation Resistance: Scaling Up Community Led Enterprises in the Amazon

Community level businesses in the Amazon help conserve the forest. They include cooperatives, indigenous people, traditional populations and more.  Most are small with limited access to formal markets, yet they are key for the local bio-economy.  Access to financing is important, but scaling is hard.  The Brazilian government’s PRONAF program lends $7 billion/year to small farmers, but only 2.5% goes to sustainable enterprises, with only 6 of 400 Amazon community groups accessing it in the past year.  Through loan guarantees and training of rural lenders, Marina Campos of Conexsus explains how her organization plans to deploy $13 million to leverage $200 in public financing to scale support for these communities. Collaboration and innovation are key. Rooted in the private sector, the Partnership Platform for the Amazon (PPA) matches startups with investors.  Despite many startups, investments in legal/management/technical support are needed for scalability.  To learn more visit: Conexsus and the Partnership Platform for the Amazon.