Small logo Subscribe to leading news on impact investing. Learn More
The Brief Originals Dealflow Signals The Impact Alpha Impact Voices Podcasts Agents of Impact Open
What's Next Capital on the Frontier Measure Better Investing in Racial Equity Beyond Trade-offs Impact en las Americas New Revivalists
Local and Inclusive Climate Finance Catalytic Capital Frontier Finance Best Practices Geographies
Slack Agent of Impact Calls Events Contribute
The Archive ImpactSpace The Accelerator Selection Tool Network Map
About Us FAQ Calendar Pricing and Payment Policy Privacy Policy Terms of Service Agreement Contact Us
Locavesting Entrepreneurship Gender Smart Return on Inclusion Good Jobs Creative economy Opportunity Zones Investing in place Housing New Schooled Well Being People on the Move Faith and investing Inclusive Fintech
Clean Energy Farmer Finance Soil Wealth Conservation Finance Financing Fish
Innovative Finance
Personal Finance Impact Management
Africa Asia Europe Latin America Middle East Oceania/Australia China Canada India United Kingdom United States
Subscribe
Features
Series
Themes
Community
Data
Subscribe Log In
More

Introducing Agents of Impact. First up: Root Capital



The response to our call last week to ‘name your favorite impact investor’ demonstrated the breadth of the talent pool under the big tent of impact investing. Many respondents ducked the question because they couldn’t pick a single favorite; only a few nominees were named more than once. The responses spanned asset classes and geographies and included both individual leaders and standout organizations.

Rather than choose ourselves, we’re going to roll out your favorites over the next several weeks, in a new feature called Agents of Impact. We’ll even the score soon with your favorite entrepreneurs and others building the impact market. The first Agent of Impact: Root Capital.

Building the market for small farmer finance
In more than a decade as a lender to small farmers and agricultural co-ops in Africa and Latin America, Root Capital has gained a reputation for delivering genuine impact in a tough sector.

A typical loan works like this: A coffee-farmer cooperative gets an order from a buyer for Starbucks. With this contract as security, Root makes a loan to the co-op to buy coffee beans from individual farmers. When the co-op delivers, Starbucks pays Root, which deducts the loan payments and passes the balance to the co-op.

Root has extended about a $1 billion in credit to more than 600 co-ops, small businesses, and other farmer groups, reaching more than 5.6 million farmers and their family members.

Higher prices and better yields mean more money for food, healthcare, and school fees.

Last year alone, Root Capital’s lending helped to unlock $1.2 billion in sales. Its loan portfolio stands at about $84 million. Root’s performance has helped attract banks and financial institutions that now see the once too-risky rural agricultural markets as a lendable opportunity.

Root is backed by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the International Finance Corp., Trillium Asset Management Corp., the Calvert Foundation and the Gates Foundation.

This post originally appeared in ImpactAlpha’s daily newsletter. Get The Brief.

Photo credit: Root Capital

You might also like...