Private companies building innovative solutions together
for better business in a better world

We all see that climate change is a reality. We all hear that poor rural communities are the first to suffer. We all know that business as usual cannot go on.

How can smallholder farmers continue to provide 70% of the world’s food when they cannot feed their own families? How can the world keep breathing when forests are disappearing and soils are undergoing constant degradation? How can businesses increase the sustainability of their activity without losing their competitive edge?

What if it were possible to tackle all these issues at the same time? What if businesses could be part of the cure, instead of always being seen as the disease? What if private companies could join forces to work with NGOs and the public sector, to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and create value for all?

The Livelihoods funds are supported by private companies who believe in working and learning together to effect change. Who are convinced smallholder farmers are key players in achieving food security on a global scale and preserving ecosystems. Who consider that the best way to support farmers is not by giving them money, but by empowering them through increased access to knowledge and technology.

The Livelihoods funds are about practical, efficient and replicable solutions to build more resilient communities and ecosystems, and sustainable businesses.

GREATER IMPACT TOGETHER

We join forces with
public institutions, NGOs, experts
& rural communities

The Livelihoods investment funds are supported by private companies committed to generating impact while offsetting their carbon footprint or transforming their supply chains. We work together to share knowledge and risks for project implementation and maintenance over periods of 10 to 20 years.
Companies have the opportunity to contribute beyond simple financing by providing expertise to the fund’s project developers and farmers.

Our investors


When addressing global challenges, no single institution can come up with solutions on its own.
We build performance-driven coalitions with public institutions, NGOs, experts and rural communities to co-create and implement impactful solutions that create value for all parties involved.

Our partners

The Livelihoods funds are advised by Livelihoods Venture, a social business based in Paris.
Livelihoods Venture is composed of a team of specialists who work closely with our partners to identify scalable solutions, conduct due diligence, co-design agronomic models, and monitor ongoing projects.

OUR HISTORY

Building on lessons learned for greater impact

2008: The Danone Fund for Nature

Danone, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) created the Danone Fund for Nature with the following objectives: restoring degraded ecosystems, redeveloping local economies and combating climate change.

Danone was convinced of the necessity to invent a new model that would provide companies with a hands-on approach to sustainability. Rather than just offering them to simply buy carbon credits to offset their emissions, Danone imagined a model that would enable companies to work directly with project developers, in order to co-design projects that deliver strong social and economic impacts in addition to yielding high-quality carbon credits.

2011: The Livelihoods Carbon Fund (LCF)

Following the success of a mangrove restoration project in Senegal—the world’s largest mangrove restoration program to date—Danone decided to open the fund to new investors for even greater impact. The Danone Fund for Nature thus evolved into an independent entity in 2011, rebranded as the Livelihoods Carbon Fund. Nine other companies have since joined this fund: Schneider Electric, Crédit Agricole S.A., Michelin, Hermès, SAP, CDC Climat, La Poste, Firmenich, Voyageurs du Monde.

More about LCF

2015: The Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming (L3F)

Building on the lessons learned with the Livelihoods Carbon Fund, a second investment fund was launched in 2015: the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming (Livelihoods 3F). Its mission remains the same: restoring ecosystems in order to sustainably improve the incomes and livelihoods of rural communities. However, its investors obtain returns that go beyond carbon credits. The main goal of this second fund is to help companies sustainably transform their supply chains with smallholder farmers. L3F investors include Danone, Mars, Firmenich and Veolia.

More about L3F

OUR TEAM

Bernard Giraud
President & Co-Founder
Bernard is the President and Co-founder of Livelihoods Venture. Previously, he was the Vice-President of Sustainability and Shared Value Creation for Danone. He played a pivotal role in transforming Danone into a social innovation pioneer by integrating social responsibility and sustainable development in the company’s core strategy and business practices. Today, he continues to serve as Danone’s Senior Advisor on Sustainability and Shared Value Creation. Bernard was also the former CEO of Corporate Social Responsibility Europe (CSR-E), a leading European organization in the field of social responsibility.
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Jean-Pierre Rennaud
Managing Director & Co-Founder/Director of Operations
Jean-Pierre is the Managing Director, Co-Founder and Director of Operations for Livelihoods Venture. He was trained as a biochemical engineer and spent 30 years working for Danone in leading management roles. Prior to co-creating Livelihoods Venture, he served as Danone’s Environment Director from 2004 until 2010.
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Myriam Karsenty
Personal Assistant
With an educational background in linguistic training and translation, Myriam has taught French and English in various organizations. She has also worked as a personal assistant in an NGO distributing dentures worldwide, as well as for several international groups in the aeronautical and pharmaceutical industries. She more recently worked within a legal department.
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Christine Porta
Finance Director
Christine developed key competencies in finance, administration, and operations in the B2B services sector for more than 20 years. She holds a dual MBA degree from the French business school EM Lyon and the University of Texas in Austin. She started her career in the Accor group, and subsequently became involved in a number of innovative projects in organizations of various sizes. Committed and passionate about environmental and societal issues, Christine also holds a Master’s degree in Engineering and Environmental Management from Mines-Paris Tech.
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Marianne Nowak
Finance Manager
Marianne brings more than 10 years of experience in advisory and assurance-based services in the financial services sector, having worked both in the United States and in France. In her current position at Livelihoods, she focuses on the finance and administration of the social business Livelihoods Venture and its funds. She holds a Master’s degree in Management from the Ecole de Commerce de Dijon-Bourgogne (France), an MBA from Ohio University (Ohio, USA) and a Certified Public Accountant license from the State of New York.
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Nishal Ramdoo
Director of Communications
Nishal deals with all the communication topics relating to the Livelihoods Funds. Prior to this role, he spent over 10 years working for public and private companies operating in renewable energies, agriculture and social integration. He holds degrees in Communications, Management and French Language and Literature.
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Guillaume Bouculat
Director of Development
Guillaume spent the first ten years of professional life in the financial sector in Europe and Latin America. He then quit the financial sector and went back to university and graduated in environmental economics, to transition to the development sector in developing countries. After some assignments in the fields of forest carbon and landscape protection, he was invited to join in the Livelihoods Funds’ adventure and create the flagship Livelihoods Carbon Fund. He jumped in as Livelihoods Venture's Financial Director and a few years later worked on the creation of the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming. He now leads Livelihoods Venture's Development team, comprising Timothée, Jérémie and Renaud, which focuses on project structuring and financial innovation for the Livelihoods Funds.
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Timothée Murillo
Senior Development Manager
Timothée is in charge of engaging with stakeholders (private sector, development institutions, public bodies…) to develop partnerships, raise capital resources, and source new projects for Livelihoods Venture. He brings 10 years of experience in water and environmental services. Prior to joining Livelihoods, he has worked for leading utility firms in Europe, North America and Latin America. His previous roles included developing new business models, analyzing financial transactions, and approaching strategic partners. In addition to his private sector experience, he has worked with NGOs and development organizations in Western and Southern Africa. Timothée holds a Master’s degree in Management from HEC Paris.
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Jérémie de Charentenay
Development Manager
Jérémie graduated with a degree in Agricultural Engineering, specializing in Environmental Economics from leading French university AgroParis Tech. He has worked for CDC Climat and Deloitte before spending two years as a management consultant in Dubai and Saudi Arabia.
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Renaud Schmitt
Development Officer
He holds a degree in Environmental Management, from Mines ParisTech and Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. His previous work experience includes Business Development in the energy efficiency industry in the United States, investment banking (M&A in energy sector) in China and environmental R&D in Canada.
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Eric Servat
Project Director
Eric is the Project Director of Livelihoods Venture. He manages a portfolio with projects at various stages of development (from design to implementation, to monitoring, follow- up and impact measurement). He brings 15 years of private sector experience (procurement for FMCG companies) and 7 years of NGO sector experience (both in relief and development organizations). He namely designed and implemented strategies for supporting smallholders in agricultural commodity supply chains, and created incentives to fight deforestation and enhance farmers’ livelihoods in the food and cosmetic industries.
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Stéphane Perrier
Senior Project Coordinator
Stéphane possesses more than 10 years of experience in the field of forest biodiversity conservation and valorization. Originally trained as a veterinarian, he quickly got involved in various tropical forest wildlife conservation projects. He subsequently pursued a Master’s degree (HEC -Paris, France) and an MBA (FGV-São Paulo, Brazil) in Sustainability, prior to founding his own consulting company to advise corporations on forest ecosystem valorization. He joined Livelihoods Venture as Senior Projects Coordinator in 2013.
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Hatim Issoufaly
Senior Project Coordinator
Prior to joining Livelihoods, Hatim worked for seven years as Program Manager at CCFD-Terre Solidaire, tasked with identifying and strengthening the capacities of actors of social change in South-East Asia. In Chad, he was in charge of monitoring a rural development project funded by the French Development Agency (AFD). In Sri Lanka, he was responsible for implementing a rehabilitation project, co-funded by the European Union, for persons displaced by the civil war.
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Julian Galindo
Senior Project Coordinator
Julian is an agronomist with more than 10 years of experience designing and implementing concrete and innovative actions to support family farmers around the globe. He gained a sound field experience throughout more than 7 years living in different countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. He worked with different international NGOs in the fields of rural development, natural resources management and value chain development. He will leverage this track-record to contribute to the success of the Livelihoods Funds’ projects.
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