Over that past few decades venture capitalists and other investors have developed a lot of expertise in evaluating new business opportunities. Much of this knowledge is specific to locations and industries. VCs are usually reluctant to invest in areas, both locations and industries, that they are unfamiliar with, for very good reasons. You don’t want to spend a scarce resource, management time, in cars and airplanes. And new companies want “smart money”, investments by people with experience and personal connections in their industry.
However, some of the expertise is of a more general nature. Much time and energy has been spend improving the process of due diligence, the process of evaluating an investment opportunity. It is a very useful methodology. Why not use it in evaluating conservation projects?
I have found the book by Justin J. Camp Venture Capital Due Diligence to be useful, but there are no doubt other useful works.