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Something Bigger Than Myself

Posted by Willy Foote  |  Dec 18, 2016 2:27:00 PM

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Coffee from the Democratic Republic of Congo: these high-quality and award-winning beans have been colorfully described as having “a very easy-to-like personality and unthreatening complexity.” But aside from the country’s coffee, so much in the DRC is, in fact, threatening — and at the same time complex.

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Topics: East Africa, Peace & Recovery, Leadership, Impact Assessment, Risk Management

The Efficient Impact Frontier: New Tools to Allocate Capital for Impact

Posted by Mike McCreless  |  Dec 6, 2016 9:24:19 AM

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Root Capital, like many impact investors, operates in the gray area between traditional philanthropy and mainstream commercial markets. As a mission-focused lender, the organization serves the financial needs of small- and medium-sized enterprises—a Fair trade coffee cooperative in Uganda or an association of women quinoa producers in Bolivia, for example.

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Topics: Impact Assessment, Risk Management

Laying the First Stones towards Gender Equity

Posted by Asya Troychansky  |  Nov 16, 2016 9:31:00 AM

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Women carry stones that will form the foundation of a new sorghum collection and storage center. 

As part of my role with Root Capital, I’m privileged to travel to remote areas in Africa and Latin America to meet with our clients and the smallholder farmers at the core of their business. Recently, I was in Meru, Kenya, with my colleague Erick Sakwa, Root Capital’s Women in Agriculture coordinator for East Africa.

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Topics: East Africa, Women in Agriculture

How this Peruvian Artisan is Running a Business on Her Own Terms

Posted by Will McAneny  |  Oct 12, 2016 11:20:04 AM

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Fany Paty, artisan supplier to Art Atlas, a textile business based in Arequipa, Perú. 

Fany Paty always wanted to run her own business.

Like many entrepreneurs, Fany longed for a job where she could have flexible working hours and a healthy degree of independence. But for Fany, this wasn’t a matter of personal preference. She needed to bring in enough money to provide for her family while still having the time to care for them day-to-day.

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Topics: Women in Agriculture, South America

Cultivating the Next Crop of Agricultural Entrepreneurs

Posted by Matt Foerster  |  Oct 6, 2016 1:10:25 PM

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Young managers participating in a financial management training hosted by Root Capital. Photo credit: Stuart Freedman/Argidius Foundation

The annual macadamia harvest is now underway in Kenya, and The Village Nut Company’s hilltop factory in Nyeri County is buzzing with activity. As farmers deliver their crop and employees carefully hand-sort the finest nuts, the Muhara siblings are busy mentoring the next generation of agricultural entrepreneurs, fulfilling a promise they made years ago. 

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Topics: East Africa, Youth in agriculture

A Step Towards Peace

Posted by Willy Foote  |  Sep 20, 2016 5:37:08 PM

Two years ago almost to the day, 60 Colombian musicians came together and released a song called “Un Paso Hacia la Paz” (“A Step Toward Peace”). Amid joggling maracas, an impassioned choir of pop stars, indigenous singers, and Vallenato musicians sing, “Así es como canta Colombia por la paz” (“This is how Colombia sings for peace”), urging for an end to the country’s 50-year armed conflict.

Fast-forward to today, and the peace Colombia sings for is finally within reach.

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Topics: Peace & Recovery, South America, Willy Foote