Young people in rural communities are struggling. There are few jobs. Those that exist are low-paying, physically demanding, and unfulfilling.
It’s no wonder so many youth leave their family farms behind. Their parents can barely make ends meet. Crop disease and extreme weather make it harder every year. Eager to find meaningful work, young people migrate to urban areas at home and abroad—but jobs are scarce there too. With few options but a crowded slum and exploitative labor, their lives become even more precarious.
Today’s global youth population is 1.2 billion—the largest in history—with 88 percent living in developing countries. But where most see a staggering demographic challenge, Root Capital sees opportunity.
The answer lies in the beating heart of rural communities: local cooperatives, farmer associations, and small private companies. These businesses make agriculture work for young people by providing reliable incomes and jobs—not only for farmers, but also for employees throughout the enterprise. They connect young producers to better markets, where they can get a higher price for their labor.
A COCAFELOL warehouse employee seals bags of coffee for shipment.
In Honduras, our client COCAFELOL trains local youth in practical skills related to coffee farming. After high school, they offer specialized courses in financial management, organic agriculture and agronomy, and barista training. Young people gain marketable skills—and the cooperative hires them after graduation, gaining a steady crop of young talent. It’s a win-win, allowing COCAFELOL to revitalize its business and the larger community.
Root Capital recognizes the power and potential of rural youth. Working with our clients, we are ensuring young people have the opportunities they deserve.
We grow businesses that invest in the future. We identify, train, and finance clients that are positioning agriculture as a viable, long-term occupation. With our support, they are cultivating resilient crops, developing lucrative new food products, and creating space for young leaders to rise.
Young managers from The Village Nut Company take a break during a financial training. (Photo: Stuart Freedman/Argidius Foundation)
We connect businesses to young and promising talent. Because of migration, many of our clients struggle to recruit local applicants. We’re piloting an initiative to place university graduates with degrees in food technology and accounting for one-year internships. This jumpstarts careers for young people, and brings fresh know-how to the enterprise.
We prepare the next generation of agricultural leaders. In our leadership development training, we coach young managers in goal-setting, decision making, and team management— capacities that spur business growth and prime young people for career advancement.
By joining Root Capital, you can help young people in rural communities develop rewarding careers and prosperous lives. With your support, we can ensure that the next generation is poised to succeed.
Help build a brighter future for rural youth. Donate today.