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Where in the World did you Spend your Summer–Brent Grinna (OC)

This summer, Brent interned at IGNIA Partners, a Monterrey, Mexico based venture capital fund that invests in businesses that serve or employ people at the Base of the Pyramid (“BoP”).ÿ The BoP is defined as the four billion people globally who survive on $2 per day or less.ÿ By providing capital and counsel, IGNIA can support businesses that will create jobs and enable social mobility in Latin America.ÿ Although IGNIA is driven by a social mission, the firm targets 25%-30% IRRs with the belief that market rate returns must be demonstrated in order to attract sustainable “capitalist” capital to the BoP and break the reliance on philanthropic funding and government grants.

Specifically, Brent worked on strategy at Pro-Organico, IGNIA’s most recent investment. Pro-Organico assists small-scale farmers to convert to USDA certified organic growing and coordinates sales and logistics efforts in the US and Canada.ÿ Farmers win by increasing their revenue per hectare in excess of five times relative to conventional Mexican prices, U.S. consumers and retailers win due to increased year-round organic produce supply, and IGNIA (hopefully) wins by growing a business from $2 million in sales to $30 million in sales in the next five years.ÿ The organization hopes this model will become an important piece of the global fight against poverty.

September 21, 2009
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