Francesca Nugnes


Research topic: Cross-sector collaborations between impact investors, social enterprises and NGOs in developing countries, agriculture and forestry

Research interests: Impact investing, SMEs, agriculture, forestry, developing countries

SupervisorsProfessor Federica Angeli and Dr Arun Kumar


Francesca is an economist, working on sustainability standards and impact investments in agriculture SMEs in developing countries, within an IISD/SIDA funded project.

In collaboration with multistakeholder groups, she analyses and reports on the social, economic and environmental impact of private investments. She has piloted tested impact investment indicators in Peru, Ghana, Indonesia and Bolivia. She has developed guides for private investments in sustainable forestry with GIZ (Mexico, Guatemala), in agriculture SMEs with Global Affairs Canada (Tanzania) and agroforestry SMEs with DfID/IIED (DR Congo). She has worked with coffee cooperatives (Nicaragua), and performed a feasibility study for a green investment fund in West Africa with the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie.

Since 2016 she has been an active member of the UN Committee for Food Security (Private Sector Mechanism). Between 2013 and 2017 she was member of the Advisory Board of IRIS (Impact Reporting Investment Standards, USA). She is part of the newly created IFC Private Sector Development Research Network (2019).

In the past Francesca has worked in applied research at the University of Amsterdam, at Brown University and in financial statistics at Eurostat (Luxembourg). From 2001 to 2010, Francesca worked in corporate finance at Unicredit (France) as a financial analyst, witnessing and learning from the last financial crisis. She worked for 4 years for a private/public partnership in Canada, creating cooperatives for women entrepreneurs.

She has lived in ten countries, speaks four languages, is a jogger, a swimmer and the mother of three children.

School for Business and Society
University of York
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