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Matanataki: A Partnership to Catalyse Regenerative Businesses in Fiji

Ariel picture of the ocean

Matanataki: A Partnership to Catalyse Regenerative Businesses in Fiji

Who is Matanataki?

Matanataki is a development and investment partnership for green and blue businesses in the Pacific. Named after the Fijian word for ‘action’, this venture is a private sector partnership between four founding organisations – The Josei Shiraito Group, Landscape Finance Lab, Ikigai Advisors and Ennovent. Together, the partners have formed a dedicated team with complementary skills and backgrounds, as well as compelling track records. Jodi Smith, Matanataki Partner and pipeline business lead, reflects on its inception: “We came together out of a pressing need to incubate a pipeline of bankable regenerative businesses to meet impact investments that were coming to the Pacific”.

Matanataki aims to develop and arrange investments into businesses that contribute to the resilience of Fiji’s Great Sea Reef (‘GSR’) and its dependent communities as part of WWF Pacific’s landscape initiative – the Great Sea Reef Resilience Programme (‘GSRRP’). The GSR is the world’s third longest continuous barrier reef system. It is home to an abundance of marine life of global significance while providing food, income, and protection for 40% of the Fijian population. Paul Chatterton, Lead of the Landscape Finance Lab and Matanataki contributing partner on landscape visioning, stresses, “The GSRRP is unique as it shows how a landscape approach can unite 50+ local and regional stakeholders to work together to protect and restore the reefs. Acting now is crucial before the impact of climate change and land-based pollution becomes irreversible”.

What does Matanataki do?

Deeply engaged with investors and entrepreneurs, Matanataki has identified 150+ businesses on the ground, amounting to a pipeline worth US$100m high impact sectors such as waste management, fisheries, agriculture, ecotourism, renewable energy and others. 


On the investment side, the partners are working with investors and donors to develop a robust deal-flow pipeline and support due diligence, investment structuring, and portfolio management functions. Anton Gigov, Matanataki Partner and investor lead, notes that “We offer investors and donors access to high impact investment opportunities in Fiji both on a direct investment and intermediated basis, using a blended finance approach”. He adds: “The use of a collaborative, demand-driven pipeline development process ensures we identify businesses that address the investment criteria at hand, while a deeper involvement with prospective investees significantly bolsters our pipeline conversion rates”.

At the business end of the spectrum, entrepreneurs are offered customised catalysation support for their ventures, ranging from business planning and pilot management to investment readiness and market access support. Peter Scheuch, Matanataki Partner and venture catalysation lead, adding that “The Matanataki way is to ensure a fair sharing of risks and returns between partners and to create tangible value at business, local and landscape levels. We seek to achieve this through venture partnerships that allow us to leverage complementary resources, structure co-investments, and significantly deepen our engagements with partners”.

Matanataki in Action

Matanataki has recently partnered with the United Nations’ Global Fund for Coral Reefs’ joint Fiji programme, which aims to leverage US$50m in investment capital by 2030 to mobilise commercial investments and promote the financial sustainability of coral reef conservation and reef-positive livelihoods. Principal transactions of the programme will involve Matanataki preparing two businesses for pilot investments in this first funding round and supporting the establishment of a locally managed Technical Assistance Facility to incubate a pipeline of reef-positive business models.

The two ventures being prepared for investment include a large-scale sanitary landfill and transfer stations and a fertiliser company that diverts green and other organic waste from dumping grounds and creates non-synthetic fertiliser blends. “The pilot investments will bring positive impacts not only to reef systems but also to the people who depend on them. During a time of extreme economic and climatic uncertainty, this investment will pave the way for world-class solutions and new livelihood and income opportunities while at the same time enabling active stewardship of the environment,” said Jodi Smith.

What next for Matanataki?

In the future, Matanataki is excited to engage with like-minded partners who share its vision for a sustainable future for all in the Pacific. Matanataki will continue to prioritise collaborations with investors and entrepreneurs that support the achievement of its impact objectives. Impact investors, donors and other financiers looking for bankable deal flow, and entrepreneurs and business owners looking for catalytic support are encouraged to reach out.  

If you are interested in learning more about Matanataki and joining in its mission to create a sustainable impact and fair profits in the Pacific, please write to karan.chandran@ennovent.com.

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