Machu Pichu in Peru

Well known by adventure travellers for its Inca ruins and amazing food, Peru is a country rich in natural resources and one of the region’s fastest growing economies in the past decade with an average growth rate of 6%. Even though the GDP has slowed to 3% in recent years due mainly to falling commodity prices, the Peruvian economy is rebounding. Entrepreneurs abound in this country with micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) contributing 20% of the GDP. 

Recently, we had the pleasure of attending “Change Makers: Supporting Social Entrepreneurs in Peru”, an event organized by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF) in Lima, Peru. The event was part of the APEC- Canada Partnership initiative funded by the Government of Canada, which involved conducting a study of MSMEs in four APEC developing economies including Peru. To that end, a few organizations, including Deetken Impact, conducted research studies of the social entrepreneurship ecosystem in Peru to develop a better understanding of their needs and provide recommendations. Some of the findings of that extensive research were discussed at the event.

It was inspiring to sit among a diverse and engaged group of individuals eager to learn how social entrepreneurs can be better supported in the country. Existing initiatives in Peru support entrepreneurs in general with limited focus on those with social goals. For example, Innovate Peru is an important initiative which aims to increase the productivity of the entrepreneurial sector by directly supporting companies and entrepreneurs, and also fostering the ecosystem, including incubators and accelerators such as USIL Ventures.

Researchers found that Peruvian MSMEs remain largely concentrated in urban areas with 48% of them based in Lima. This leaves many regions still very isolated and hard to reach. The majority of these businesses are micro, with 96% reporting having less than 5 employees, and 50% of them not being part of the formal economy. Additionally, a lack of financing is one of the main obstacles to entrepreneurship and the main reason for the failure of start-ups in the country. 

With all of these challenges, it is no wonder that over half of the companies interviewed did not consider the environment or sustainability as a top priority. And those who did consider social and environmental goals important found it difficult not only to measure but also to communicate their impact.

The fact is that there is tremendous potential for social entrepreneurship in Peru. Many companies already implement sustainability practices and have a social and environmental impact without measuring it. Women are particularly motivated to undertake projects with a social goal as 60% of MSMEs are women-led. Plus, the country is rich in natural resources and agriculture with healthy and nutritious crops bring grown mostly in remote areas by poor, vulnerable populations. By implementing the right support, networks, and financing, these entrepreneurships have the potential to increase and improve production and export to international markets.

Panelists at the “Change Makers: Supporting Social Entrepreneurs in Peru” event presented success stories of social enterprises in this sector. For example, Inka Moss is a producer and exporter of moss grown at an altitude of 3,000 metres in the isolated Cusco region with a triple social, environmental and financial goal.  Meanwhile, Piscis, a trout farming business in Lake Titicaca, has provided mentoring, technical assistance, and technology transfer to small producers enabling them to grow their production exponentially and be export ready. 

L-R: Lourdes Denegri from Cooperativa Abaco, Carl Black and Jose Lamyin from Deetken Impact, and Eloísa Alarcón from Piscis.

We are encouraged by the recent growth of organizations that aim to specifically support social entrepreneurship in Peru. For instance, NESsT supports the growth of social enterprises through their training programs, one-on-one business development support, and financing; Kunan is a network and platform that fosters, integrates, and inspires social entrepreneurs in Peru; and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) provides standards to measure impact. The efforts of these and other organizations, combined with increased access to financing from local and international impact funds like Deetken Impact, will set the stage for many more success stories in the years to come.

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Magali Lamyin, Director of Communications and Development for Deetken Impact


Director of Communications and Development


Magali brings extensive market intelligence, business development and marketing experience from her work at the Central Bank of Mexico, the Canadian Institute for Market Intelligence, and the IESE-PWC e-Business Centre in Barcelona. She also co-led national marketing campaigns for businesses in the hospitality and early childhood education sectors for almost a decade before joining Deetken. In her current role, she is responsible for leading Deetken Impact’s communications, marketing and branding strategy. She is also involved in the due diligence process for project selection with an emphasis in Mexico.

Magali holds a BA in Economics from Mexico's ITAM and a Master's degree in Economics from the University of British Columbia.

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Jose Lamyin, Managing Partner Deetken Impact


Managing Partner


José has extensive experience as a business advisor for clients throughout Canada, Europe and Latin America in mining, telecommunications, and finance. Prior to co-founding The Deetken Group, José worked for Teck Cominco in Peru and Canada and Deutsche Bank in London (UK). José has spearheaded much of the strategic growth of Deetken Asset Management since inception and is currently focused on investment selection.

José received his BS in Engineering from the University of British Columbia and MBA from IESE School of Business (Barcelona). Born in Peru, José is fluent in English and Spanish.

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Alexa Blain, Managing Partner Deetken Impact


Managing Partner


Alexa is responsible for finance, operations and investor relations at Deetken Impact. She brings over 10 years of experience in financial consulting and asset management, with specific expertise in company and investment analysis, business valuation and securities/corporate finance. Prior to joining Deetken, she spent three years with African Alliance, a pan-African financial services group, where she focused on expanding the firm’s retail financial services operations as well as on the origination and negotiation of new capital. In addition, Alexa has six years of asset management experience with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the Macquarie Group and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

Alexa is a CFA Charterholder. She has also completed an MA in Financial Economics and an Honours BA in Economics, both at the University of Toronto.

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Fernando Alvarado, Head of Deetken Impact Sustainable Energy



Honduras Renewable Energy Managers (HREM) and Caribbean Renewable Energy Managers (CAREM)


Fernando Alvarado leads the General Partner and Investment Advisor of two clean energy and energy efficiency project finance and venture capital funds: Honduras Renewable Energy Financing Facility (H-REFF) and Caribbean Basin Sustainable Energy Fund (CABEF), which he structured and runs with a combined target capitalization of $100m.

Development Investment Banker with 28 years of international credit and investment experience and 18 years of direct experience assessing diversified renewable energy portfolios in Latin America & the Caribbean. He has participated in more than 50 syndicated credit and investment transactions for renewable energy projects in excess of $250 MM. He led the creation, structuring, fundraising, legal closing and portfolio construction of several specialized renewable energy funds.

Costa Rican, based in San Jose, Mr. Alvarado has an MBA in Banking and Finance cum laude from Universidad de Costa Rica.

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Carl Black, Portfolio Manager Deetken Impact


Portfolio Manager


Carl is a Portfolio Manager with Deetken Impact focused on analyzing and working with MSMEs, social enterprises, and renewable energy developers in Latin America and the Caribbean. His main responsibilities include supporting business development, managing technical assistance projects, leading investment due diligence, and monitoring portfolio performance. Prior to joining Deetken Impact, Carl worked for five years as a consultant, advising public sector clients an non profits in Canada and financial services companies in Latin America. He started his career at the Bank of Canada, where he researched issues related to household and business credit. 

Carl completed an Honours BA in Economics at the University of British Columbia. He also holds an MSc in Economics & Development from the University of Oxford, where he earned distinctions in quantitative and development economics.

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Cristobal Aguirre, Investment Analyst at Deetken Impact


Investment Analyst


Cristobal has over 6 years of experience in the asset management industry, where his responsibilities have ranged from asset allocation and portfolio management to risk analysis and software development. Before relocating to Canada, Cristobal worked as a senior investment analyst in AFP Habitat—Chile’s largest pension fund—where he led the tactical asset allocation and macroeconomic research for emerging markets.

Cristobal is a CFA Charterholder, and completed a BA in Economics at Universidad de Chile.

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Chad Parsons, Senior Investment Analyst at Deetken Impact




Chad has worked as a consultant in business and technology for 20 years – often helping clients with their business transformation initiatives.    He has worked with start-ups, government, and established businesses to further their product and service offerings with a balanced approach.   After pursuing a research degree on leveraging technology for social and economic development; Chad has found a valuable alignment of his background with Deetken’s innovative impact investments. 

Chad completed a BS in Engineering from the University of British Columbia and has a MSc with distinction from the University of Manchester (UK).

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