In 2014, WWF created the program “WWF Impact Ventures” – an approach for incubating business ideas and an accelerator with positive environmental impact for conservation business.
Over the last four years, WWF Impact Ventures has implemented four annual programs, 40+ companies globally have been accelerated and $ 5.3million have been committed to support conservation businesses.
On February 6th 2019, the program “WWF Impact Ventures” is also launched in Greece!
The program explores new business models that will help locals lay the foundations for sustainable development and will also generate value and support in nature protection.
Specifically, the approach aims to create viable, in financial, environmental and social terms that will have a positive impact on two particularly important areas of natural environment in Greece: the Dadia – Lefkimi – Soufli Forest National Park, and the Marine Protected Area of Gyaros. (Link to CHALLENGES)
Two key drivers for the destruction of our environment are market-based. Over-exploitation of natural resources and mass consumerism under-value biodiversity. On the other hand, a lack of livelihoods leads to exploitation of natural resources. In both cases, destruction brought about by markets can be addressed by market-based solutions.
Conservation businesses protect and revalue nature, enable local communities to flourish and provide opportunities for investment. Not all conservation programmes can be investable. But, where there is room to innovate, these businesses can generate new and replicable models for conservation.
Conservation needs are growing faster than existing funding modalities, while private and institutional capital available for impact investments grows. Impact ventures can provide another source of finance for conservation or provide an exit strategy for traditionally grant-funded projects.