Empowering Agriculture: Unveiling Finance as a Catalyst for Sustainability in Emerging Markets

Alejandro Guinassi

During INSEAD's summer break, I had the privilege of being a summer finance advisor at Syvl a startup building climate-adaptive financial tools to help stakeholders along the agricultural value chain adapt. Syvl's focus is on sparing development in emerging markets, currently focusing on Africa.

My time at Syvl was enlightening. 

When I set out to plan my summer internship, my aim was to secure a position that would enable me to apply my skills and prior experiences, while joining forces with a startup that was leveraging technology in groundbreaking ways to create a positive impact. With a background in capital markets and investment management, my aspiration was to delve deeper into sustainability within a promising enterprise. In this regard, Syvl was a perfect fit.

Moreover, upon learning about the Hoffmann Institute stipend, I found the means to make this experience feasible.

During my time at Syvl, my main task involved helping Syvl’s leadership evaluate and measure the impact on capital needs within banks. This experience offered a deep dive into further financial hard skill development; but more relevantly, it allowed me to research and begin to know more of a rapid growing region that I had had little exposure to before.

Alongside financial modelling, I also took on the responsibility of exploring climate risk management within the financial sector. This exposed me to the crucial role of integrating climate considerations into financial decision-making. I gained insight into the methodologies used to assess climate risks, realising their impact on investment choices, risk management, and sustainable progress. 

Overall, this experience was enriching. It allowed me to immerse myself in a startup environment that centred on cutting-edge technology, expand my knowledge about Africa's financial sector, and simultaneously contribute to building up climate resilience in vulnerable regions.

This internship experience was supported by the INSEAD Hoffmann Institute Impact Internship Stipend and gifts from alumni.