NESsT Partners Spotlight: Guilherme Fernandes

Guilherme Fernandes has contributed to NESsT Brazil’s financial and strategic growth. As CEO of Ashmore Brazil, he spearheaded his company's role as a financial and capacity-building ally for many years. Guilherme was involved in selecting enterprises for our portfolio, providing finance mentoring to Retalhar, and delivering workshops to the LGBT portfolio in 2014.

A heartfelt thanks to Guilherme for sharing your passion, expertise and kindness with NESsT Brazil!  We asked him what inspired him to become a champion for NESsT.

Why did you first become involved with NESsT? 

Guilherme Fernandes: I worked for Ashmore Group and the Ashmore Foundation as a sponsor for NESsT in Brazil. They introduced me to the social venture fund idea and I was firstly intrigued by it. Once I met the NESsT team and their ideas and methodology I decided to become a Business Advisory Network (BAN) member right on the spot!

What does NESsT's mission mean to you? GF: It means a lot, since it targets employment and generating wealth for those who need is, in my opinion, an extremely important need most emerging economies have. It easily differentiate from the traditional philanthropy and shows the importance of developing local social entrepreneurs and their impact in our society.

How has working with NESsT influenced your life?

GF: It had a deep influence as on a personal side it fulfilled a long desire I had to help change and impact life of several people and organizations. I've learned a lot with local entrepreneurs and leaders of communities, they are all incredible people that dedicate a great part of their life to help others.

It certainly helped me view the world from a different angle, which had an impact in personal and professional life.

What interests you most about NESsT? 

GF: The fact that NESsT helps other to develop, provide the tools for their own growth and doesn't just give money or awards. From my perspective a workshop or knowledge sharing is more important than just giving a grant (money).

How does NESsT compare to other organizations working on this cause?

GF: NESsT as an international organization, has the advantage of exchanging experiences and knowledge amongst its offices and this provide a great advantage for entrepreneurs since challenges are similar worldwide.

How do you describe NESsT to others?

GF: I often say NESsT is an organization that helps social entrepreneurs achieve their goals. I emphasize that the most important part is about knowledge and skills and not about the money. That Nesst work with a network of people with different background which provides an advantage as one have different views for the same problem.

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