Founded in 2009, GAWA Capital is the leading impact investing advisory firm in Spain. We seek to improve the lives of low-income communities by promoting investment in social enterprises, whilst also providing a financial return to investors.
Since its inception, GAWA has pioneered the introduction of the impact investing asset class in Spain, having launched three funds, in addition to advising a third-party fund - Magallanes Impacto FIL. Each of these funds invests equity and debt in developing countries, in companies focused on providing market-based solutions to key societal issues such as poverty. To date, GAWA has managed and advised over EUR 204 million, with investments in 16 countries and a positive track record of 6.34% annual IRR to investors in our first fund.
Why we do what we do
We believe that real, transformative change can only be driven by financially sustainable business models that provide tailor-made solutions to critical issues such as poverty or climate change. More and more of these social enterprises are appearing around the globe, yet lack access to the funding which will enable them to reach their full potential. Impact investors aim to close this funding gap, attracting private investment to these companies by offering investors tangible social impact alongside a financial return. Learn more about Impact Investing.
How we do what we do
GAWA focuses on developing countries, carefully selecting companies that provide opportunities for low-income communities to boost their livelihoods. We seek companies that have a true social mission and a sustainable business model, balancing social impact with a market-rate of return for investors.
Social impact is key to our philosophy, and thus inherent throughout our investment process. We seek to maximise the social imprint of our investees, carrying out an exhaustive Social Due Diligence prior to investment and actively improving investee social performance post-investment with Technical Assistance. Social covenants are present in all contracts and GAWA's performance fees are linked to the social impact of each investee, which is measured and managed throughout the life of the investment.
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Other social Enterprises
Low Income Communities
Social impact for Low Income
Since 2009, GAWA Capital has sought to maximise the social impact of the investments it has managed and advised upon, having built up extensive experience in the field and a solid track record on the way.
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Real people, real stories
Meet some of the people whose lives have been changed by GAWA's investments. The funds we advise and manage invest in companies that have a strong social impact, as can be seen from the stories below. In line with GAWA's focus on tangible social impact, we visit as many end-clients as possible during our investment Due Diligence trips. Read more below to see how some of these people have improved their quality of life, or click on the link underneath to meet some of the clients we have visited during our travels.
Daw Thinzar Oo is an entrepreneurial woman who created her own tomato sauce and turned it into a business in Yangon, Myanmar. She started cooking at home and sold the sauces individually, as the business grew, she found herself in the position of opening a small store, but in order to do so she needed a loan. Daw Thinzar turned to LOLC Myanmar for their help and they had no problem with letting her borrow the money. Over the years several loans where given out to Daw Thinzar, as the business kept growing. The tomato enterprise is set to expand through other regions and she could not be more grateful for LOLC Myanmar's support. She enjoys a comfortable and happy life, her kids have a private education and she is able to ride her own car. The business has also led to more employment within the community and the possibility of health insurance for her employees.
Our Values are present in everything we do
We are determined to go beyond industry standards in our investment analysis. With a strict investment selection process, we strive for the best possible understanding of our risks and opportunities.
We share an active desire for improving the standards of living of those who need it the most. We do this by truly engaging with these communities and making all efforts to understand the hardships they face.
We believe that the sum of small acts of kindness and generosity in our day-to-day pave the way to a brighter future. We believe in sharing our experiences and learning from each other.
We are driven by our responsibility to investees, investors, and end-clients, with a firm commitment to achieving positive social impact in a financially sustainable way.
We are actively seeking new, innovative ways to deliver on our promise and are not afraid to try new models and improve along the way. We balance this proactive approach with our thirst for understanding and mitigatIing risks.
GAWA Capital's clients' trust is one of our biggest assets - we are determined to act with the highest standards of integrity and transparency in order to preserve it. We seek the same integrity in the companies we work with.
Impact investments are investments made with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.
Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) definition
What is Impact Investing?
Impact investments are investments made with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. According to the Impact Management Project, impact investment should make a specific contribution to solving a particular neglected social or environmental challenge, actively managing the impact to maximize it. Two different types of impact investing strategies exist: (i) generic impact investments and (ii) tailor-made solutions to market failures. In both cases, social impact is sought and achieved, yet the latter seeks to promote transformative change by directly tackling the market failures that lead to key issues such as poverty, climate change, etc.
Although impact investing is often compared to sustainable investments (SRI/ESG), these types of investments are based on exclusion principles/negative screening which focus primarily on avoiding investments in "bad" or "harmful" companies. Instead, impact investments seek to actively create tangible social/environmental impact along with sustainable financial performance.
The Impact Investing sector was born from the realisation that philanthropy alone is not enough to tackle the issues faced by the world’s most vulnerable populations today: eliminating poverty, providing access to clean water, health and sanitation, education… The United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals aim to address these critical social issues, requiring investments totalling USD 3.9 trillion per annum in order to solve them in developing countries. Unfortunately, only USD 1.4 trillion are currently invested per year, leaving a funding gap of USD 2.5 trillion per annum in order to achieve the SDGs. This amount is impossible to cover with public financing and charity alone, which is where impact investing’s fundamental role arises.
Why impact investing?
USD 2.5 trillion in additional investments are required to achieve the SDGs - impact investing will be key in mobilising these funds.
Impact investing channels much-needed private capital into investments that aim to address the world's most daunting social and environmental challenges, by offering a financial return to investors. Impact investing can focus on a range of geographies, sectors and asset classes, whilst providing different financial return profiles. The result is a dynamic industry that plays a crucial role in improving the lives of millions around the world.
Impact investing has been identified by governments and development institutions worldwide as a key tool to achieve the SDGs and promote socioeconomic development around the globe. In this sense, mechanisms such as "Blended Finance" have arisen, involving the mix of development aid incentives with private capital to "de-risk" investments in initiatives that have significant social/environmental impact. Blended finance will thus be vital in catalysing private sector investment in these projects, acting as a pivotal component for the impact investing sector to fulfill its potential.
A perfect example of blended finance can be seen in the Huruma Fund, via which investors will enjoy a EUR 10 million first-loss facility to absorb any losses (funded by the European Union and managed by COFIDES, the Spanish Development Finance Institution), in addition to EUR 20 million in concessional debt from the Spanish International Development Agency (AECID-FONPRODE). Each of these will reduce the risk and enhance the return for private investors in the Fund. Click here to read more about Huruma.
Impact Measurement & Management
GAWA has built its business around the pillars of social impact, which are the basis for our raison d’être. Impact Measurement & Management is thus a key element of GAWA’s investment strategy, helping to ensure that the transformational change that we seek is actually achieved. Simply measuring impact is not enough – we must actively manage the social impact of our investees, working with them to identify ways to maximise this element. At GAWA this concept is deeply engrained in our modus operandi, from Fund inception and throughout the lifetime of our investments, seeking to create Theories of Change that will truly contribute to reducing poverty around the globe.
From theory to reality: Huruma Fund