In recognition of ALIVE's post-investment ESG support of portfolio company, Slang, the Association for Private Capital in Colombia (ColCapital) selected ALIVE for its annual Best Implementation of ESG Criteria in Startup Capital award.
The award recognizes investors who demonstrate a significant contribution to investee ESG practices, adding value in various domains such as job creation, responsible use of natural resources, environmental sustainability, inclusivity of vulnerable populations, ethnic and gender diversity, contributions to corporate governance, and more. It specifically acknowledges the expertise provided during the design, implementation, and monitoring of policies within the investee.
Slang, an EdTech company specializing in professional and tailored English language education, utilizes machine learning to offer over 130 courses tailored to specific industries, areas, or roles within businesses and universities. ALIVE invested in Slang late in 2021 and has continuously been providing tailored, hands-on technical assistance as needed by the company.
ALIVE's Support to Slang
ALIVE integrates ESG factors into its investment and portfolio management decisions. This begins in due diligence, and with Slang, as with many potential investments, ALIVE identified an opportunity to enhance ESG practices. Following the investment, Slang and ALIVE worked together to conduct pivotal initiatives in three key areas:
Strengthening policies and practices through an ESG-focused technical assistance project.
Defining a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategy and formalizing the DEI committee.
Implementing a social impact measurement project.
The ESG project, initiated in April 2022 and led by ALIVE, aimed to enhance policies and practices, starting by formalizing the ESG committee to develop social and governance initiatives, including the strengthening of the Employee Manual, establishing a complaints and claims mechanism, and the creating of policies such as the Code of Ethics, anti-harassment policies, AML policies, and ESG policies, among others.
The DEI strategy, developed as part of a technical assistance project focused on gender and diversity, with the support of Value for Women, enabled the company to adopt practices and processes for continuously assessing the gender composition of the team, preventing any form of discrimination and promoting the implementation of best inclusion practices within the company. It also defined initiatives for understanding the company's impact on its users and decision-makers, thereby implementing improvements in its product and communications to eliminate potential unconscious biases.
The impact measurement project, conducted in partnership with 60 Decibels, helped assess the impact of Slang's products on their users, specifically focusing on the role of women and girls as part of the beneficiary population. Some key findings from the report confirm the profound impact that Slang is having on its female users. According to the results, 80% of surveyed female users have improved self-confidence, 56% have enhanced leadership skills, 57% have improved the quality of their work, and 71% have increased their overall quality of life, all thanks to Slang.
Consequently, the company used this information to enhance the user experience and create a more communicative experience through live tutoring sessions.
Enhancing outcomes and investee capacity
ALIVE's strategic and impactful approach to ESG principles in collaboration with the team at Slang demonstrates not just ALIVE's commitment to responsible investment practices and sustainable business operations, but also Slang's dedication to adopting those practices as well.
And moving forward, the Slang team will take complete ownership of these practices and initiatives, with ALIVE continuing to provide support as needed.
ColCapital's award is not only a recognition of the outcomes achieved to date, but a recognition of the sound practices developed by Slang and ALIVE which will enable the company to continue being a leader in ESG-aligned strategies as it continues to scale across Latin America.
About ColCapital: The Colombian Association of Private Capital
Colcapital, with 162 members, plays a pivotal role in fostering private capital initiatives in Colombia. The association consists of 80 professional investment managers and other investment vehicles, along with 82 service providers to the industry.