Building Capacity in Nature-Based Enterprise Development

Project Context & Opportunity

Landscape restoration projects often incorporate Nature Based Enterprise (NBE) development and other sustainable financing mechanisms within project activities. However, non-government organisations implementing landscape restoration projects face practical barriers to developing NBEs in their landscapes. These include identifying products or industries appropriate to their landscapes, access to business expertise and technical support, knowledge of how to design enterprises to achieve biodiversity impact, and lastly access to appropriate sources of finance. Solutions to all these barriers exist, but work needs to be done to build understanding and capacity amongst those responsible for facilitating NBE development, creating a body of knowledge for them to access and a community of practice to share experiences and improve access to finance.

Project Aims

The project will build the capacity of staff and consultants to facilitate NBE development in their landscapes, through the development and delivery of structured training, resources and case studies, alongside mentoring by experts in the field. These outputs will also form a body of knowledge which, together with the capacity improvement, will increase the quality and quantity of support provided to NBEs being conceived or developed in these landscapes. Nascent NBEs will have improved access to specialist knowledge and information whilst projects themselves will be provided with tools and training that reduces the workload and increases impact of their staff. Participants will have the opportunity to network and pitch to donors and investors in NBEs, building better relationships between financers and projects, increasing mutual understanding and improving access to finance for NBEs.

In addition to the increase in capacity for staff responsible for NBE development, the project will build a community of practice for NBE development through shared participation in testing materials and case study development. Online communications platforms will be used to share materials and allow interactions between specialists and project staff.  The new trainings and resources will be integrated into the on-going NBE support activities and communications platforms of the Endangered Landscapes Programme and Cambridge Conservation Initiative members. The community of practice will continue to be supported as an efficient way to engage with implementing partners and share new information and knowledge. This will ensure that the body of knowledge will continue to be utilised and expanded, and the community of practice will grow over time, as the adoption of enterprise development into the conservation sector continues to increase.

Project Impact

The project is aiming to increase the capacity, resources and tools available to facilitators of enterprise development in restoration landscapes. As a result, we expect that more NBEs will be developed in target landscapes, contributing to improvements in biodiversity through increased funding for restoration, improved incentives for land managers and users to protect and restore biodiversity, and increased sustainability and resilience of local economies.

Project Partners

University of Cambridge Judge Business School