- "Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do." -- Johann Wolfgang van Goethe
The Agora Venture Fund (AVF) was launched by Agora Partnerships in 2006 to invest equity and debt in seed and early-stage entrepreneurs in Nicaragua. The fund is a private, for-profit fund managed by the Agora Management Company, a fully owned subsidiary of Agora Partnerships.
The purpose of the fund is to learn how to best invest in and support early-stage entrepreneurs by the most effective method we know – actually doing it.
AVF has made some of the smallest equity investments of any fund in Latin America – as small as $25,000. Average annual sales for AVF companies at the time of investment are less than $200,000.
The Agora Venture Fund is the ultimate bootstrapped venture capital fund. With a total of $523,000 raised from 11 pioneering investors and the Netherlands-based DOEN Foundation, and generous legal support from Clifford Chance, it is the smallest fund domiciled in the Cayman Islands and one of the very first commercial impact investment funds in the world. With an all-volunteer investment committee and volunteer investor managers and consultants, AVF has done diligence on dozens of companies and helped attract nearly $2.5 million in investment into early-stage businesses in Nicaragua while helping to create hundreds of jobs.
The fund is a Global Impact Investment Pioneer Fund, and the first early stage impact investment fund in Latin America. Portfolio company Clínica del Pie was featured by Morgan Stanley as a social venture capital success story and portfolio company Co2 Bambu was recently the subject of a short documentary.
The Agora Venture Fund has made a total of 11 investments in companies ranging from foot clinics to vegetable processing to shoe manufacturing. Agora is committed to sharing our lessons learned with the Agora Venture Fund. Foundations interested in supporting this work should contact Agora. Until then we are happy to share the award winning INCAE Business School Case Study on the AVF, written before the first investment was made.