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How Investing in Young People Sets Coffee Businesses Up for Long-term Success

Posted by Rob Hefferon  |  Sep 24, 2019 12:27:38 PM

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Duban Gómez Alvarado grew up expecting to one day enter the family business: coffee farming. The Alvarados have worked the flourishing fields of western Colombia for generations—but, in recent years, climate change has imperiled their crop yields. Simultaneously, the global coffee price has plummeted below the cost of production, leaving many farmers without a livable income. “For many years, we have been coffee farmers in my family,” Duban says, “but I am not convinced at the prospect of continuing with my family’s work.”

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Topics: South America, Partnerships, Youth, Stories of Impact

For Antonio And Roberto, A Small Grant Made A Big Difference

Posted by Will McAneny  |  Apr 17, 2019 6:00:00 AM

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Over the past 20 years, we’ve offered hundreds of coffee businesses the capital and training they need to succeed. But to truly maximize their impact, these businesses sometimes require additional support. That’s why, in partnership with USAID Feed the Future, we launched a Resilience Fund that provides $20,000 grants to some of our highest-performing client businesses in Colombia and Peru.

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Topics: Youth, Stories of Impact, Livelihoods

A Program That's a Win-Win for Rural Businesses and Young Talent

Posted by Kate Hyder  |  Jul 11, 2018 9:40:21 AM

Root Capital staff with members of a focus group in Kumasi, Ghana

This post originally appeared on the blog of the Rural and Agricultural Finance Learning Lab.

Each year, more than 10 million young people across Africa enter the job market, competing for just three million formal jobs. As the continent’s youth population swells steadily towards a projected total of 800 million by 2050, this demographic crisis will intensify even further.

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Topics: West Africa, Partnerships, Advisory Services, Youth

Five Things I Learned from Our Youth Workshops in Nicaragua

Posted by Will McAneny  |  May 16, 2018 6:00:00 AM

Root Capital advisors with a group of young leaders from Root Capital client El Polo.

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of traveling to the coffeelands of northern Nicaragua to see Root Capital’s advisory team in action.

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Topics: Mexico and Central America, Advisory Services, Youth

Seeding the Future of Rural Communities

Posted by Kristin Williams  |  May 9, 2018 1:29:11 PM

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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.

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Topics: Youth

On “The Road Where Life Was Once Worth Nothing,” This Business Gives Farmers Purpose

Posted by Will McAneny  |  Dec 12, 2017 2:39:05 PM

The valley surrounding San Martín de Pangoa

Thirty years ago, this place looked very different.

Nestled in the foothills where the Amazon rainforest meets the towering Andes Mountains, the Peruvian town of San Martín de Pangoa exudes an aura of calm. Life seems to move at a leisurely pace; ambling through the town’s mostly-unpaved streets, you’ll see mototaxis rumble slowly past indigenous women cradling their babies in brightly-colored wool blankets. The hills rising above the town are patchworked with a lattice of small farms, and every moto and pickup truck seems to be laden with nearly-bursting sacks of coffee.

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Topics: Peace, Women in Agriculture, Environment, South America, Youth, Stories of Impact