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Empowering Women

Deetken Impact and Pro Mujer, a provider of vital services to low income women, have teamed up to manage the Ilu Women’s Empowerment Fund to advance gender equality in Latin America and the Caribbean. We share a mutual commitment to supporting women’s empowerment across all of our business activities and to implementing investment management practices that empower women.

Growing equality in Latin America and the Caribbean

Why invest in women and girls? why latin america?

Women are key drivers of economic prosperity and equality. When women earn income, they spend 90% of it on their households, including food, healthcare and education. This creates a virtuous cycle of improved family and community well-being. But women worldwide face significant barriers to leading their fullest and most productive lives: lack of access to capital, inequitable labour markets and cultural norms and beliefs that can have a harmful effect on women’s health and dignity. 
Although there has been real progress in recent years, over 30% of people in Latin America live in poverty and the region remains one of the most unequal in the world. We believe that investing in women and girls not only advances gender equality, but also creates the systemic change needed for sustainable economic development and poverty reduction.

Ilu is an Aymara word meaning
“to plant”, and it represents our commitment to cultivating a
world where women and girls in Latin America and the Caribbean lead their fullest and most productive lives.

ILU Women’s Empowerment Fund

The Ilu Women Empowerment Fund’s investment strategy places strong emphasis on women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship. The target fund size is US $35 million, with US $25 million already committed and US $14 million deployed. After successfully closing the first round of fundraising from catalytic investors, including The DFC (formerly OPIC), Canadian foundations and Credit Unions, we are planning a second round to raise another US $10 million.

The Ilu Fund makes senior and subordinated debt investments in Latin America and the Caribbean with a focus on transactions in the US $1 to $3 million range. It invests in a diversified portfolio of high impact businesses that promote women in leadership and governance, products and services that meet the needs of women and girls, gender-sensitive value chains and equity.

Portfolio investments include financial institutions that provide integrated and thoughtfully designed services for low-income women, including access to healthcare, educational loans, financial services, and technical assistance, as well as gender-smart investments in renewable energy, affordable housing and social enterprise.


ILU Women’s Empowerment Program

Deetken Impact and Pro Mujer have partnered with USAID to advance women’s economic empowerment. With support from USAID’s Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Hub we’ve launched a program to increase gender equality in Latin America and the Caribbean through three main components:


  • Incremental Capital

  • Technical Assistance

  • Knowledge Dissemination and Advocacy

Gender Equality

Spotlight On Meaningful Impact

Pro Mujer

Pro Mujer is a leading women’s development organization serving 300,000 women across 6 countries in Latin America. They have disbursed $3.6 billion in small loans since 1990. With three decades of experience serving women entrepreneurs, Pro Mujer provides an integrated set of services to help underserved women to reach their full potential including financial products, primary and preventative health care services, and business education.

Pro Mujer continues to pilot new service delivery and technologies to efficiently reach more vulnerable populations, including apps to help women access health care and counselling services for gender based violence.


  • $2,000,000 (CAD) Senior debt & Preferred Equity Investment
  • 90% Female clients
  • 762,000 Health services
  • 101,000 Cancer screenings
  • <$400 Average loan size

Finca Haiti

FINCA Haiti SA is a microfinance institution serving 45,000  customers, 85% of whom are women, across 8 branches. Finca Haiti not only reaches out to unbanked women clients but is also building up a staff and senior management team that is mostly women.

In 2017, FINCA Haiti SA entered into a CAD 7 million partnership with Global Affairs Canada to scale up financial inclusion efforts, targeting low-income Haitian women in particular, leading to improved living conditions, health and education.

Our loan is an example of how ‘blended finance’ involving the public and private sector working together can be used to sustainably support the growth of impact businesses in frontier markets.


  • $1,000,000 (CAD) Senior debt
  • 90% Female clients
  • 80% Female head office staff
  • 13,500 Mobile loan disbursements


In addition to businesses supporting women entrepreneurs building small or micro businesses, we also support small and medium enterprises with women owners, management and staff.

PISCIS was founded in Peru in 1978 with trout processing factories in Quichuay (Huancayo) and in Characas (Puno). It began to export trout from Lake Titicaca in 1981, initially to Sweden and today to a variety of countries.

The PISCIS sustainable trout farming business hires almost entirely women at their fish processing plant in southern Peru. The long textile tradition in southern Andean Peru has resulted in a local workforce that has a good skills match for work undertaken at the PISCIS factories.


  • $1,000,000 (CAD) Senior debt
  • 70% Female employees
  • Leading environmental practices and training for small producers

We support the Sustainable Development Goals

The Ilu Fund delivers strong financial returns while also providing meaningful and measurable social and environmental benefits, with a specific focus on advancing the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically:

and we are making a measurable impact on the quality of life of women and girls.

The ILU Fund’s investment process integrates gender considerations into investment screening, due diligence and monitoring:

● Implementation of a gender smart evaluation framework and scorecard

● Measurement and evaluation of gender metrics for reporting to stakeholders

● Rolling out targeted and culturally relevant inclusion training for portfolio company management teams

Empowered women bring positive change to their communities. 

Together we can make an impact.

Suite 501 – 1755 W. Broadway, Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada V6J 4S5


+1 (604) 731-4424

It is EASY to get started making an impact!

Simply send us your contact information and one of our investment specialists will contact you to personally walk you through the investment process. 

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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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