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100.000 €

Settled by the promoter

Resilient Cocoa Farming

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, PE




6 months

a year




Small cocoa producers feeding the planet, from Peru.


The goal of this campaign is to provide production and export financing to a fair trade, certified, female owned and female-led, Cocoa aggregator, processor, local seller and exporter, operating with more than 3,000 local producers in the Northern regions of Cajamarca, San Martín and Amazonas and the central region of Huánuco – the four regions collectively producing 55% of the Peruvian yearly total cocoa produce, for a total aggregate of 23,400 Metric Tons per year.

The Company, is in Tarapoto (San Martin) and concentrates 10% of the local market share, ranking as the third largest cocoa bean marketer in Peru. Its vision is to improve the quality of life of its farming partners, offering training and technical assistance, and to be recognized by the local and international community as suppliers of inputs for quality, developing customized products, with commitment, ethics and trust. This vision and strategy is reinforced by several certifications, from which Fair Trade (Comércio Justo) and USDA Organic should be highlighted.

The Fair Trade Certification is particularly relevant, as it places the Company in the 13% out of the 33million global cocoa producers that have achieved such certification which, among others, ensures that the cocoa processing and procurement is free of child slavery labour – the Fair Trade certification is particularly strict in this regard, and with yearly inspections in the sourcing farms, has no tolerance for any abusive labour practices.

Peru is the sixth largest producer of cocoa worldwide, the second largest organic cocoa producer (after the Dominican Republic) and the number one fair-trade organic cocoa producer worldwide.

The worldwide demand for cocoa is growing and especially the demand for certified cocoa is expected to continue to grow in Europe over the next years, with two clear increasing trends: search for sustainable (certified) chocolate products, i.e. cocoa bean production that complies with social, environmental and economic aspects and where the whole process is successfully certified by a third party; and towards authentic ingredients and single origin cocoa products.

Less than 10 years ago, thousands of farmers used their plots in the Northern Highlands of the Selva region to grow coca - while coca provided a steady income in remote regions, the illicit crop also brought with it the violence of drug traffickers and their allies. The government was eager to eradicate it and with the collaboration of the military, police, local, regional and national governments and initiatives from international donors and the private sector, Peruvian coca farmers were converted to cocoa (and coffee) farming and Peru has, in the last years, quickly built a global reputation for producing traditionally cultivated, shade grown, high quality cocoa beans.

The funds raised through this campaign will be used as Transactional Working Capital to provide liquidity to the Company from its procurement and processing stage, all the way through its exports.

The Impact

  • Promotion of an inclusive value chain by joining 3.000 local producers who have access to an international export value chain.
  • Better working and financial conditions for small producers, who own less than 2 hectares of land.
  • Rural poverty reduction: smallholders will receive a higher profit margin for their produce, which can be allocated to more than pure subsistence.
  • Contribution to the Company’s social mission, by ensuring cash payments at the “farm gate” to the farmers and early payments at a premium to the Company. The company can then reinvest the money in training, education, social support to the farmers and their families, health support and help with organic and fair-trade certifications.
  • Gender quality promotion - the company is fully owned by its female CEO, who runs a senior and experienced team.
  • Incentive to organic products growth: all the cocoa produced is organic and certified by a third party.
  • Incentive to reducing child slavery – the chocolate certification guarantees that all the processing and procurement is free of child slavery labour, and there is no tolerance for any abusive labour practices.
  • Contribution to the environmental protection of the Selva Region, in the Peruvian Northern Highlands: A shade crop, cocoa can be grown in forests and agroforestry systems, thus helping to enrich soils and protect them against erosion.

Impact Indicators

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people impacted

Sustainable Development Goals

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Financial viability

Transactional Working Capital is a short-term debt financing asset that allows the producer/aggregator/seller to receive advance/early payments and the buyers to delay their payments.

In commercial sales, standard market practice for payments is between 30 to 90 days from the time when the seller issues its invoice – such payment terms usually strain the cash availability of the seller for its own procurement, while allowing the buyer to hold on to their cash for longer. Often, the seller’s working capital gap is resolved by accessing traditional bank financing, which usually requires to be over-collateralized over hard assets (i.e. factories, buildings, machineries). However, due to the elevated requirements demanded by banks as guarantees for the loans, impossible to meet for smallholders, such bank loans seldom resolve any working capital gap.

Transactional Working Capital fills this gap without the need for collatseral. That, in turns, obtains the following results for both the smallholders and the aggregator:

  • Liquidity to procure raw produce – the aggregator/processor is able to grow its business by increasing the level of raw material procurement to fulfil new orders for its international buyers, without waiting for payment from existing buyers.
  • Premium Prices - The producers receive a premium price that reflects the certified and fair trade value of the cocoa, resolving the cash pressure and eliminating the need to provide discounts to the buyer, in return for early payment.
  • Higher profit margin that can be reinvested: the higher profit margin can then be allocated not only to pure subsistence but to invest in capacity building of technical agricultural skills and technologies, improving production standards and yield investments in organic, fair trade and quality certifications.

WCA maintains a Trade Credit Insurance Policy with a global insurance company providing worldwide trade credit insurance, surety, and collections services, with a strategic presence in 50 countries. The Project repayment will be guaranteed under such Trade Credit Insurance Policy, which effectively protects GoParity lenders from default in a credit related event (e.g. insolvency, bankruptcy). The policy covers against losses from Insolvency, Protracted Default and Political Risk and covers up to 90% of the value of the underlying commercial transaction financed by WCA. As WCA provides up to 80% financing to any underlying commercial transaction, the policy in essence covers more than WCA’s entire financing.

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The Promoter

About WCA (Working Capital Associates) LLP

WCA is the only female-owned and led company providing direct financing to value chains of agriculture products from Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) and Latin America (Latam).

WCA follows a themed responsible investment approach which “allows investors to address ESG issues by investing in specific solutions to them, such as renewable energy, waste, and water management, sustainable forestry and agriculture, health products and inclusive finance” (PRI).

The company follows two key themes:

The company also applies gender-lens to its investments, seeking to finance a significant level of female-led businesses that follow sustainable and responsibly managed standards.

WCA’s goal is to grow value chains by providing access to finance to SMEs, in the framework of three keys SDGs:

The company also applies a “No Harm” Impact Goal, when reviewing its investment opportunities and applying a negative screening to harmful/controversial products and industries.

The team is composed of ten professionals, with senior executive team members having 10+ years of experience in Emerging Markets and/or Trade Finance, and a collective experience in financing over USD1 billion in short-term debt and Emerging Markets transactions.

The team

Federica Sambiase

Founding Partner and CEO

Federica Sambiase is a senior Banking & Finance professional with 20+ years of experience in originating, advising and structuring corporate finance solutions for global clients.

Andrew Darling

Chief Structuring and Product Officer

Andrew Darling is a veteran Trade Finance specialist with over 40 years experience of providing funding to Corporates across a broad spectrum of products.

Jorge Cerna Coronado

Latam Origination and Relationship Management

Jorge Cerna is an investment banking & finance professional with 10+ years experience in origination, structuring and relationship management of local and regional clients in Latin America.

Gathuo Njoroge

SS Africa Origination and Relationship Management

Gathuo Njoroge is a finance and technology expert with over 10 years experience in product development, research, origination and operations of SME and corporates finance solutions across East African and US markets.

Ekaterina Kobzareva

Investments Manager

Ekaterina Kobzareva is experienced and highly qualified Investment professional with 6+ years in financial analysis, due diligence and deal structuring (both Buy side and Sell side) across a number of different industries.

Sara Piedrabuena

Designer and Latinamerican Coverage

Business Model

WCA is headquartered in London and registered with the FCA under the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Transfer of Funds Regulations 2017. The company operates using a “commercial finance company” model, by raising funds (in the form of loans and/or co-investments) from international investors, which it then on-lends to borrowers in their target markets.

The company’s revenue comes from the net interest margin between interest received from the borrowers and interest paid to the lenders.

Traditionally, the funds obtained come from impact funds, credit funds, Development Finance institutions (DFIs), and private wealth seeking thematic investments, which provide the company with medium to long-term funding.

The company’s target market is comprised of 2million SMEs that are financially constrained across Africa (#1.6million) and Latam (#0.4million). Specifically, the company is focusing on Peru, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ethiopia, with a preference for food value chains.

The company has tailored its services to SMEs, these suffering from the highest levels of transactional financing requests – approximately 58% of transactional finance proposals are rejected by banks, despite the sector globally submitting 44% of all transactional finance proposals. Banks reject such a high volume of proposals for three specific reasons: very cumbersome AML/KYC requirements imposed by regulators, capital requirements such that short-term financing to lower-rated enterprises is unprofitable and constraints on banks’ capital.

WCA follows the Principles for Responsible Investments based on the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact.

In addition to this, WCA has established ESG standards related to investments in controversial sectors and products. The company believes that certain industries, countries, and/or sectors are not compatible with its principles, and therefore will refrain from financing companies that are against its sustainability values.

Active since


Fiscal country


Operating In

Latin America and Sub Saharan Africa



Number of Goparity Loans


Women Shareholders




Project End

This project has successfully reached its payments plan maturity. All investors have received their full capital invested and interest. Nevertheless, its impact will keep growing for many more years!


First payment

First instalment was paid to all the investors


100% funded

356 investors successfully raised 100.000€


Open for investment

This campaign is open for investment

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