Building the next generation landscape investment pipeline through national Technical Assistance Hubs


The vision of the Investment Development Hub Colombia is to demonstrate that with specialised and localised technical assistance alongside the right capital mix, more projects can become ready for investment, while promoting sustainable land management, forest protection, and conditions of smallholder farmers.


Investee Archetype

The Hub will focus its TA support on SMEs, project developers, cooperatives, aggregators and financial institutions working with and on-lending to smallholder farmers, and for the purposes of land restoration and sustainable agriculture. The starting screen for candidate selection for Hub’s services is its potential to contribute to sustainable land use and forest management and provide measurable benefits to smallholder farmers.

Finance Network

This first-hand Technical Assistance experience showed a mismatch exists between the supply and demand of capital, necessary to move the needle on sustainable land use and produce a meaningful impact on rural livelihoods and smallholders. Namely:

On the supply side:

  1. A lack of investment-ready opportunities with limited number of scalable companies and business models.
  2. Immature relationships between farmers and large food producers.
  3. Lack of innovation in primary business and value chain.
  4. Small ticket sizes

On the demand side:

  1. The funds have limited bandwidth, mandate, and skills to pro-actively develop high-impact projects.
  2. The ESG criteria are strong (which is good) but can be a challenge to meet, especially for the local operators.
  3. Blended finance players fund large ticket sizes and in international currency, which has an impact on the composition of their portfolios.

Keeping these challenges in mind, the Landscape Finance Team brought to the table a specific proposition to focus on developing investment-readiness opportunities, introducing the Investment Development Hub and Finance Network as new components.

The Hub plays a key role in building an ecosystem for scale (as opposed to a project-based approach) in nurturing potential investments to scale, and in ensuring an exit strategy for its TA through the convened Finance Network. Specifically, it breaks down the aforementioned barriers with the following design:

  1. Localized and tailor-made investment preparation process, staffed with business and investment skill sets and a clearly defined investment readiness roadmap.
  2. A network of technical assistance providers, specialized in sustainable land management, agricultural production and ways to deliver smallholder impact.
  3. A grants budget to deploy to help move projects along the investment readiness map.
  4. Convening of the Finance Network of impact-minded financiers that closely participate in the investment preparation process through an MOU and the governance structure of the Hub.
  5. Harmonizing and embedding the basic requirements of funds into the investment preparation process.
  6. A joint pipeline sourcing process between the Hub and participating Funds.

Strong Gender Component

The Investment Development Hub envisages providing grants to bridge the gaps identified in the investment readiness roadmap and the mature business concept.

Gender consideration is one of the most important aspects of the investment readiness process. It is a requirement of the Hub and often of the financiers as well. Hence,  project developers need to demonstrate a level of understanding, experience, consideration, and willingness to address identified gender issues in their TA design. This includes assessing whether the project is led or owned by women, if the company has a gender equality strategy, and whether there are initiatives related to gender data collection. Additionally, it involves evaluating if women will be direct beneficiaries of the TA provided to the company or its overall business, if the company has policies or practices around an inclusive workplace, consultation, and tailoring, and if the company has provisions to enable women’s independence and control over resources.




The Landscape Investment Development Hub Colombia (the “Hub”) is a GEF-funded project, implemented by Conservation International and executed by IDH.  The vision for the Hub was shaped by the experience of the IDH Landscape Finance (LF) in managing TA facilities for IDH partner funds, including LDN, AGRI3, &Green and Farmfit. Over the period of 2016-23, the Landscape Finance Team has built a track record of disbursing >$15 million in Technical Assistance funding, spread across 40 projects, while mobilizing $130 million of investment.

Figure 1: IDH Landscape Finance-managed TA Projects as of H1 2023


Contact us for more information

  • Pilar Jimenez Mejia

    Senior Program Manager

    IDH Investment Development

  • Evgenia Sokolova

    Program Manager

    IDH Investment Development

This project is made possible through funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), in partnership with Conservation International (CI) as an Implementing GEF Agency.