Sustainable Fishery Trade: Building Partnerships in the Bay Area

Simone Pisu from Sustainable Fishery Trade (SFT), an enterprise that connects small-scale fishing families directly to the market, spent two weeks meeting with important sector leaders in San Francisco. SFT is currently in due diligence as a candidate to enter the NESsT portfolio. Our portfolio team uses a hands-on approach, planning with each social enterprise to create the strongest case for investment possible. This process supports enterprises to develop sales and marketing plans, to shape their business models and corporate governance structures, refine their operations and establish key partnerships.

Simone's trip began with a private reception where he had the opportunity to share his experience as a social entrepreneur in Latin America with 30 corporate and foundation leaders. The rest of the trip focused on building partnerships with successful technology companies in the Bay Area.

Simone at the NESsT-Accenture Reception
Simone at the NESsT-Accenture Reception

Box connected specialists in front end development, web app and product design and offered pro-bono support to SFT to refine their communication strategy. Special thanks to Director of Engineering, Sumathi Swaminathan, Sr. Web Developer, Eugen Taracila, and Product Designer, Lu Liu for partnering with Sustainable Fisheries Trade!

As part of Accenture's Skills to Succeed program, Accenture consultants co-hosted a live virtual training with NESsT for social entrepreneurs in Latin America focusing on three topics: recruiting a strong team, pitching, and deal negotiation. Simone joined the Accenture team at their office and was able to received specialized advice throughout the day.

Symantec also hosted an all-day workshop for where Vineet Sood, Principal Software Engineer, and Kristyn Greenwood, UX Manager, helped Simone lay out SFT's entire user experience interface for two applications - one for small-scale fishers and the other for restaurants. This workshop has provided the foundation for SFT's upcoming project with Startup 5G Peru where they will finalize their mobile applications.

Simone & Simone (SFW & SFT)
Simone & Simone (SFW & SFT)

And his meetings with the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and Seafood Watch from the Monterey Bay Aquarium have led to two international conference invitations that will allow him to strengthen their positionality within the sector.

Pictured: Simone and Simone Jones from Seafood Watch after their meeting discussing artisanal fishing in Latin America.

We believe that by connecting entrepreneurs like Simone directly to institutional partners in the due diligence process, NESsT is able to strengthen enterprises and build a stronger portfolio.

We asked Simone about his experience.

How have you been able to improve your business as a result of this trip?

We finally landed on the business model and can describe it in one sentence. We also have a better understanding of how our technology supports our business. Above all, I would say that we are on a good path and understand what can be improved.

After being able to speak with many leaders of the sector, what would you say is SFT's added value to the sector?

We are pioneers in Peru for using an approach that introduces technology into the artisanal fishing sector. This is in line with the direction that philanthropic foundations and investors are taking. We have knowledge of the territory and the artisanal fishing sector in Peru, which presents problems that are also common  in other places where the model could be replicated.

How did you feel when you were in San Francisco?

It was a new and exciting experiment. It is a very inspiring and motivating environment with many opportunities. At the same time it is orderly and quiet so that the head is clear of other problems.

How have you grown personally?

Every new experience is a challenge. Leaving the comfort zone helps you to test your skills to understand limits and new horizons and learn how to overcome them. This process highlights your strengths and also reveals weak points to be improved.