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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

Human-Centered Design: From California to Côte d'Ivoire

Posted by Kate Hyder  |  Sep 13, 2017 6:00:00 AM

What do young leaders in agriculture really want?

Last year, we asked young leaders in rural Ghana what it takes to be an effective agricultural business leader in their communities. Our next step was to translate what we learned into prototypes designed to strengthen the agricultural leaders of today and tomorrow.

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Topics: West Africa, Advisory Services, Youth

Reclaiming Home-Grown Grains in Senegal

Posted by Will McAneny  |  Aug 15, 2017 9:30:35 AM

La Vivriére and Root Capital staff

After years of watching working mothers switch from feeding their children Senegalese grains to imported rice, Bineta Coulibaly decided to take action.

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Topics: Food Security, Women in Agriculture, West Africa, Stories of Impact

Launching Youth Leadership Development Advisory Services in Rural Ghana

Posted by Kate Hyder  |  Apr 20, 2017 2:33:16 PM

A focus group of youth leaders in agriculture in Tamale, Ghana.

Other than the fact that dresses and headscarves made of brightly patterned kente cloth dotted the room, the scene could have been from a young professionals’ networking event in San Francisco or Boston: 11 millennials, gathered into small focus groups in a hotel conference room, discussing what leadership meant to them.

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Topics: West Africa, Advisory Services

What do Silicon Valley and Africa’s Sahel Have In Common?

Posted by Willy Foote  |  Jul 28, 2016 6:00:00 AM

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Overlooking a village in southeastern Senegal. 

 

What do Silicon Valley and Africa’s Sahel have in common?

At first blush, not too much. One is apps, algorithms, and acquisitions, and the other? Well, you might be thinking more of a woman in a field, tilling soil with a hand hoe, a vast horizon behind her.

Over the last month, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to both places – first to eastern Senegal to meet with Root Capital clients (agricultural businesses organizing hundreds of cashew growers and millet farmers across the remote region), and later to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Stanford University in Palo Alto, convened by President Obama. And I can tell you one thing: the very same entrepreneurial and innovative spirit that fuels Silicon Valley is alive and well on the last mile of dirt roads in the Sahel.

The problem is, the world hasn’t supported agricultural entrepreneurs in the same way that Silicon Valley supports tech entrepreneurs. But what if it did?

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Topics: West Africa, Partnerships, Stories of Impact

How Extension Services Drive Business Success

Posted by Elizabeth Teague  |  Mar 10, 2016 1:37:36 PM

In December, we published an issue brief focused on the potential of small-and-growing businesses to create shared value for entire supply chains through their agricultural extension services. When delivered effectively, extension services can serve public objectives related to improved farmer livelihoods and environmental conservation, as well as commercial objectives related to procurement and supply chain risk mitigation.

In this post, we discuss one example of successful shared value extension from our portfolio.

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Agriaccess General Manager Tony Poore speaking to one of the Agriaccess farmer groups about an upcoming input delivery

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Topics: Food Security, West Africa, Partnerships, Advisory Services