Deetken Impact and Pro Mujer receive US$1.3 million from USAID to augment the Ilu Women’s Empowerment Fund through three main components—incremental capital, technical assistance, and knowledge dissemination and advocacy.

Vancouver, BC. March 11, 2021 – Impact asset manager Deetken Impact and mission-driven social enterprise Pro Mujer today announce a partnership with USAID to advance women’s economic empowerment and gender equality. Deetken Impact and Pro Mujer, joint venture partners in the Ilu Women’s Empowerment Fund (the Ilu Fund), are creating a program to advance gender equality in the Latin America and Caribbean region through three main components—incremental capital, technical assistance, and knowledge dissemination and advocacy.

Additional funding towards women’s empowerment

Deetken Impact will use blended finance capital to expand the Ilu Fund by US$5 million, which will be channeled into new and existing portfolio companies that are weathering current economic shocks from the COVID-19 pandemic and preparing for recovery. 

To date, the Ilu Fund has committed over US$28 million to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in 13 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, with an emphasis on women’s financial inclusion.

“Thanks to this initiative, we are launching a new blended finance product that will allow investors to support the fund with added protection from pandemic and post-pandemic risks,” said Jose Lamyin, Managing Partner at Deetken Impact.

Gender smart technical assistance

Through a tailored acceleration and engagement program, the Ilu Fund team will assist companies in strengthening their gender smart business practices to improve their business performance, attract more capital from Gender Lens Investing (GLI) and non-GLI investors, and advance gender equality and opportunities for women in the communities where they operate.

“Ilu Fund portfolio companies have shown strong receptivity to new approaches that embed gender considerations into their broader business strategy. We are now in a position to incubate and accelerate these initiatives to support gender leadership in our portfolio and in the region more broadly,” commented Alexa Blain, Managing Partner of Deetken Impact.

The customized program will focus on areas of opportunity relevant to the pandemic and post-pandemic context, and it will align with one or more of the Ilu Fund’s gender lenses, which include:

  • Women in ownership, leadership, and governance;
  • Products and services that improve the lives of women and girls, diversity of products, and equity in product marketing & design;
  • Workplace equity in staffing, management, retention, career progression, and workplace environment; and
  • Gender-informed information systems including gender disaggregated data and analysis.

Knowledge dissemination and advocacy to expand the GLI ecosystem

The Ilu Fund team will support the broader GLI ecosystem in Latin America and the Caribbean through knowledge dissemination and advocacy and by building the business case for gender lens investing and gender-smart business practices in the region. This effort will include the development of an open source toolkit, regional workshops, events, case studies, and investor education. 

“This initiative plays a significant role in establishing the field of gender lens investing in Latin America.  Data has consistently shown that gender diversity leads to economic prosperity, more productive companies, higher revenues, and increased market value. Most importantly, gender lens investing fosters gender equality, which results in access to education, healthcare, and decent job opportunities for girls and women,” shared Maria Cavalcanti, President and CEO of Pro Mujer. 

About Deetken Impact:

Deetken Impact is a Canadian registered investment fund manager with a 10-year track record of delivering strong, stable returns to investors by supporting businesses that make a meaningful contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals. Together with its affiliate, Deetken Impact Sustainable Energy, Deetken Impact currently manages US$100 million in impact assets. Deetken Impact is a signatory to the UN Global Compact. Deetken Impact Sustainable Energy is a 2020 Impact Assets 50 Manager and a signatory of the IFC Operating Impact Principles.

About Pro Mujer:

Founded in 1990, Pro Mujer is a mission-driven social enterprise that empowers women in Latin America through a suite of financial, health, and education services. Over the past 30 years, Pro Mujer has disbursed US$4 billion in small loans, provided over 10 million health interventions, and positively affected two million women across Argentina, Bolivia, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Peru. Pro Mujer has played a significant role in establishing the field of gender lens investing in Latin America.

About USAID:

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID’s work advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity, demonstrates American generosity, and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience.

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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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