AxialPar is an innovative investment company with a single investor (Pierre Landolt) interested in focusing on agribusiness that is sustainable from an environmental and social standpoint. In spite of the passion and energy that Landolt and the staff of AxialPar have put into the projects funded by AxialPar, there have been many difficulties involved in rendering the businesses profitable. Some of these factors are related to the fact that Brazil is still very much a developing country, with the infrastructure and poverty problems that a developing country environment implies. However, neither are the markets prepared for some of the innovative concepts presented by the projects. The main question is how a groundbreaking investment company such as AxialPar could be better structured or positioned in the future in order to assure success? How can the farmers and markets be better prepared to assure the sustainability of organic produce? Indeed, is it feasible at all to be trying to set up such companies in a Brazilian context?
The case focuses on the challenges that an investment company experiences when trying to ‘jump start’ four start-ups in a developing country and run them based on sound social and environmental criteria. Participants will come to a better understanding of the commercial challenges that such initiatives are up against, particularly in a developing country context. The ideal governance structure for such an initiative will be the main focus of debate around this case study.
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