We are proud to be part of the growing Deetken Impact team, and are excited to introduce this diverse and talented group of investment professionals. Each month, we will feature one of our colleagues so you can get to know them better!
Meet Betsy Gaborit, an Investment Officer with Deetken Impact Alternative Finance. In her role at Deetken Impact, Betsy supports the Ilu Women’s Empowerment Fund, the first Gender Lens Investing fund focused on Latin America and the Caribbean. She assesses investment opportunities, monitors portfolio performance, and supports business development. Betsy brings extensive experience in financial inclusion and international development, after working for more than 14 years with various international organizations such as the Inter American Development Bank, the United Nations, the public sector, and financial institutions.
Betsy has a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and a Master’s degree in Project Formulation and Evaluation with a focus in Finance from University of San Carlos in Guatemala. She is a certified professional in Microfinance Management by the Boulder Institute of Microfinance, and is certified ISO31000 Lead Risk Management by the Professional Evaluation and Certification (PECB) group, a Canadian certification body. She also serves as a Board Member at the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC).
Betsy was born and raised in Guatemala, a country rich in resources but highly unequal. Guatemala has the highest poverty rate in the region, with more than half the population living below the poverty line. Like many people in Latin America, Betsy faced hardship but sought opportunities to get ahead. At a young age, she decided to study a career that would allow her to open her horizons and work in companies that would attract international resources to support those in need.
What is your favorite part of the work you do, and why?
There are many things to love. The first – and for me, the most important – is that our work has a direct and positive impact on society and the environment. Deetken Impact’s transformative investments drive the growth and sustainability of impact enterprises that are changing lives through access to economic resources, education, health, housing, renewable energy, and more. Secondly, I love that we invest in a variety of sectors, because it challenges me to learn about many issues. Lastly, it is very enriching to work with people from different countries, and have the opportunity to share experiences and learn from one another.
What advice do you have for women interested in a career in Impact Investing?
Working in impact investing is exciting and rewarding, but it is a job that requires a lot of effort and dedication. Investments are multi-faceted and require a comprehensive understanding of a company’s financial, operational, impact and gender performance. Witnessing firsthand the impact generated helps to inform our work and show that it is about more than just numbers – it is also about people and the planet. As a woman working in impact investing, we also have the opportunity to influence an organization’s corporate culture, facilitating equitable governance, women’s leadership, and the development of products and services for women.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Spending time outdoors – whether at the beach, mountains, lakes or forests – refreshes and renews me. I also love spending time with my partner José and his son, with my two dogs, and with my large family – my parents, 5 siblings, and my two nephews.
What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?
I am a person who loves the water, and I have dived in fresh and salt water in Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Mexico, and Colombia. I also studied as a paramedic and a search and rescue specialist, and I was a volunteer for the Red Cross of Guatemala, providing support in the event of natural disasters such as hurricanes, volcano eruptions, and earthquakes.
What is your favourite city/country you have visited, and which is at the top of your bucket list to visit?
I have had the joy of visiting many countries, and since joining Deetken Impact, I have traveled throughout Latin America. Last year, I also spent several months in Vancouver, Canada, with the team based there. I love that Vancouver is surrounded by nature, boasting so many opportunities to spend time outside. Of all the countries I’ve visited to date, Scotland stands out as it has breathtaking views, and everything tells a story – the streets, the houses and parks. And, of course, I can not leave out Tikal and Yaxhá in my native country of Guatemala, the largest Mayan City in the world situated in the middle of the expansive jungle of Petén.
Places I would like to explore are Prague, Egypt, and Asia.
You can learn more about Betsy by following her on social media!