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Venture Studio for Forests

Circular economy
In partnership with
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The challenge

Forests, housing 80% of Earth's terrestrial biodiversity, face significant threats from short-term profit-driven activities like mining and logging. Despite the crucial role played by NGOs, the rapid and extensive deforestation often surpasses their efforts. Simultaneously, there is a growing market for sustainable forest products, carbon, and biodiversity. Coupled with innovation, this presents an unprecedented opportunity for business models focused on forest regeneration and protection. However, the challenge lies not only in identifying these sustainable solutions but in effectively scaling them up. The evolving nature of many of these markets leaves potential business opportunities unclear, dissuading entrepreneurs from venturing into them. Funding remains complicated for those entrepreneurs aiming to make a positive impact, as Venture Capital firms are hesitant to invest in these emerging markets due to the associated risks. Foundations, on the other hand, typically focus on non-profit ventures and are reluctant to invest in seed ventures as it deviates from their core business. Consequently, there is a significant lack of funding for impact ventures falling between non-profit projects eligible for philanthropic funds and highly scalable, quick-profit-driven projects that attract Venture Capital investors.

To truly make a difference, we must leverage available charitable funds as catalysts to amplify their broader impact. These funds, characterized by their risk tolerance and long-term perspective, are well-suited to finance the development of innovative solutions. However, utilizing philanthropy in a truly catalytic manner often encounters legal hurdles.


Percentage of terrestrial biodiversity housed by forests

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The solution

Brainforest, established in 2019 as a venture studio, aims to regenerate and protect 20million hectares of biodiverse forests by 2030. Initially rooted in WWF, it evolved into an independent tax-exempt entity. Brainforest uses philanthropy to cultivate scalable for-impact business models, empowering local communities with sustainable income sources. The unique venture studio model involves innovative entrepreneurs, contributing to a standing forest bioeconomy to address climate, biodiversity, and food crises. The vision is to shape a portfolio of 30 ventures by 2030, collaborating synergistically. The interconnected portfolio generates continuous revenue from forest ecosystem services and products, ensuring long-term protection.

To compete with destructive activities like mining and logging, Brainforest emphasizes robust business models centred on maintaining standing forests. Key income streams include non-timber forest products (NTFPs), ecosystem services monetization, and eco-tourism. After securing tax-exempt status, Brainforest leverages philanthropic capital in a multi-layered and catalytic manner. Philanthropic funds launch ventures designed for self-sustainability, with impact investments fuelling growth.

«The objective is to cultivate 30 ventures to regenerate and protect 20 million hectares of biodiverse forests by 2030. »

Brainforest innovates collaboration with philanthropic partners, introducing financial instruments like forgivable loans to foster accountability and drive. This approach magnifies the impact of philanthropic funds, achieving more significant results compared to conventional methods. The organization's strategy, involving equity holding and revenue-based financing, generates capital for new solutions without continuous reliance on philanthropy. Brainforest's holistic approach combines innovation, sustainability, and financial awareness to address critical environmental challenges.

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