ImpactAlpha, March 9 – MCE Social Capital provides loans to small businesses and financial services firms in emerging markets that are supporting climate adaptation and sustainable livelihoods, particularly for women. The nonprofit impact investor has raised $19.5 million for its Empowering Sustainable Agriculture fund, or MESA, to make impact-first debt investments in agri-businesses and rural financial services providers in Africa, Latin America and Asia.
The fund is backed by the U.S. International Development Finance Corp., family office Ceniarth and ImpactAssets. Dutch development bank FMO is slated to contribute an additional $10 million. USAID provided fund design support.
The women-led fund is the latest to raise capital to invest at the intersection of gender and climate issues.
MCE has a 15-year track record providing loans to underserved communities and businesses in emerging markets by derisking capital from accredited investors with donor funds from foundations and individuals. It has supported nearly 10 million borrowers, 73% of whom are women.
The organization launched its agriculture-specific MESA fund because of a glaring capital gap for smallholder farmers. The dedicated fund will help “bridge that gap faster and more intentionally than we could with our current model alone,” MCE said.