An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers


An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers

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ImpactAssets 50: A Global Landscape of Impact Investment Fund Managers
The ImpactAssets 50 (IA 50) is the first open-source, publicly published database of experienced private debt and equity impact investment fund managers.

ImpactAssets 50

An Annual Showcase of Impact Investment Fund Managers

IA 50 2022 PROFILE

Nonprofit Enterprise and
Self-sustainability Team, Inc.

Total Assets Under Management: Less than $25M
Asset Class: Private Debt - Absolute Return / Notes
Primary UN Sustainable Development Goal: 8 – Decent Work & Economic Growth
Sustainable Agriculture
Small/Medium Business Development
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Firm Overview

Category: Private Debt - SME Finance (Emerging)

NESsT invests in enterprises that create quality jobs for underserved communities while sustaining the planet. We focus on the small enterprise segment benefitting grassroots, underserved communities in emerging economies.  NESsT operates two businesses: 1- Impact funds that provide debt financing to small and growing businesses; and 2- Incubators that accelerate early-stage enterprises towards investment readiness.  Since 1997, NESsT has incubated and financed 200 enterprises to sustain more than 70,000 formal jobs targeting vulnerable women, at-risk youth, smallholder farmers, and minorities. Our organization has impacted a total of 19,000 entrepreneurs and improved 670,000 lives across 50 countries.  NESsT targets employment creation in the following areas: Climate change through regenerative agriculture, circular economy, and green jobs; Gender equity through the economic empowerment of women; and Workforce development through the diversity and inclusion underserved talent.

Firm Headquarters: US & Canada
Years of Operation: Less than 3 years
Total Assets Under Management:
Less than $25M
Total Number of Investors: Between 5 – 25
% of Capital from Top 3 Investors: 50% – 99%
Investment Thesis:

We finance small and growing businesses that promote the employment of vulnerable communities while sustaining the planet.

Investment Overview:

High-impact, high-growth small businesses in emerging economies face a lack of options for accessing debt because they are considered too risky by traditional and impact investors. We lend to enterprises in sectors with large segments of low-income individuals and target enterprises with less than $2 million of revenues that sustain livelihoods for youth, women, farmers, and minorities. We focus on enterprises constrained by a lack of capital and for which our loans are catalytic. We invest in emerging markets with growing economies but persistent inequality.  We provide business assistance alongside our capital to ensure the investment readiness of the businesses and their success in repaying our loans and graduating to commercial investors.  

Company Differentiator:

We differentiate our organization in four ways: 1- Track record: we support small and growing businesses in emerging economies since 1997. 2- Local: while U.S. headquartered, 85% of our staff is based in emerging market countries where they understand the context, build networks, and foster local ecosystems. 3- Business assistance: we put an emphasis on providing business assistance along our capital to develop deeper relationships with our portfolio of companies. 4- Accelerator: we have a thriving accelerator program with 55 companies receiving investment readiness capital and services that provide a proprietary pipeline for our fund. 

Investment Example

Shanantina is a Peruvian company working exclusively with indigenous communities to cultivate sacha inchi, a nut that is native to the Amazon rainforest and used for the past 2,000 years.  Sacha inchi is a product with growing international appeal because it is a vegan source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, a type of fat that the human body cannot produce but is essential to important functions of the heart, brain and metabolism.  By following fair trade principles, Shananatina pays its suppliers 61% higher prices than other intermediaries, and also provides training to farmers so that they can grow certified organic products. The company supports 150 smallholder farmers who use sacha inchi to restore deforested lands in the Peruvian Amazon. NESsT provided a $200,000 loan for the company to expand into new sacha inchi business lines including flour and oil. 

Leadership and Team

Cumulative Leadership Experience in Investing:
30 years or more
Cumulative Impact Experience of Top Three Firm Leaders:
30 years or more
Loic Comolli – Co-CEO More Info

Nicole Etchart – Co-CEO More Info

Chad Sachs – Fund Director, Latin America More Info

Chad Sachs is Fund Director of the NESsT Latin America Fund. He is a seasoned executive that has been investing or raising capital for the last 20 years, primarily in the renewable energy industry. He founded two companies focused on successfully developing, investing and operating solar power plants. He led the structured finance teams at companies that developed and operated solar power plants, raising over $1.1 billion of capital. He grew his last company to become a top five independent asset managers in the solar sector in North America. He held Senior Vice President positions at Fotowatio Renewable (acquired by SunEdison) and MMA Renewable Ventures. Prior to that, he worked in private equity and M&A at JP Morgan Partners and Credit Suisse First Boston. Chad earned an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and B.S. in Foreign Relations from Georgetown University.

Percentage of Investment Professionals who identify as women:
25% to less than 50%
Percentage of Investment Professionals who identify as a person of color:*
25% to less than 50%
Percentage of Senior Management Team who identify as women:
50% or more
Percentage of Senior Management Team who identify as a person of color:*
50% or more
*People of color include: Black, Latinx, Asian, Native American/Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander, Middle Easterm and multi-racial Americans

Financial Performance

Target Financial Returns Relative to Benchmark:
Concessionary Rates
Actual Performance Relative to Target Financial Returns in the Past Three Years:
In line with initial target returns
Financial Reporting Frequency to Investors or Donors

Impact Performance

Percentage of Total Assets Under
Management that are Impact Investments:
Primary Impact Outcomes:
Addressing climate change and environmental issues
Alleviating poverty
Creating jobs
Addressing Racial Inequality
Addressing Gender Inequality
Secondary Impact Outcomes:
Conserving land, ecosystems and natural resources
Value-added Services Offered:
Access to markets
Business and legal training
Health services
Racial bias training
Other: Gender equity

Investments systematically target companies where social and/or environmental impact is integral to the product/service being created:

All of our investments meet strict social and environmental criteria, including: 1- Social: all investments must target companies creating jobs for low-income and/or marginalized individuals. A minimum of 80% of the jobs created must target these individuals. 2- Environmental: all investments in rural businesses must target companies that use sustainable land management ensuring environmental sustainability and biodiversity protection.

Investments systematically include social and environmental sustainability practices in the due diligence process:

All of our investments meet strict intrafirm social and environmental criteria, including: 1- Diversity and inclusion: target companies must adhere to gender equity principles in their hiring, management and governance. In 2022 we will expand this policy to include racial equity. 2- Sustainability: target companies must adhere to sustainable business practices in relation to their use of natural resources including water, waste, and energy.

Impact Tracking and Monitoring

Impact is Tracked:
Social and/or Environmental Impact is Reported to Investors and Donors:
Yes – to the public
Third Party Validations:
Participant on steering committees or leadership roles within impact industry associations
Publisher or contributor to industry white paper or other research in impact investing

Learn More

Key Contact Name: Loic Comolli
Phone: +15037049195
Mailing Address:

5917 Jordan Avenue, El Cerrito, CA 94530, USA

Apply for the IA 50 2022

The application period to become an ImpactAssets 50 2022 Fund Manager will open in September 2021!
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IA 50 2023: Apply for Consideration

The application period to become an ImpactAssets 50 2023 Fund Manager will open in September 2022. To stay informed on the application process, sign up here.