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The Mango Farmer Who Changed Everything

Posted by Willy Foote  |  Oct 29, 2015 7:00:00 AM

Mango farmer, Burkina Faso

A few years ago, a mango farmer in Burkina Faso told us something that forever changed the way we interact with our clients and the farmers they serve.

“I don’t want to answer any questions,” the farmer said as one of our impact surveyors approached him. “Here you come to ask us the same silly questions that you go sell to aid sponsors…. You’ll ask me my name, my family size, the kinds of goods I have, and so on, and so on.… Go take the answers from the [other organizations’ surveys] we provided last year.”

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Topics: West Africa, Advisory Services

In the West African Sahel, Women Stand Like Giants

Posted by Willy Foote  |  Jul 9, 2015 9:00:00 AM

The baobab trees of West Africa, gigantic in size and majestic in stature, are providers: They store water and food for animals in times of drought; they provide homes for birds (owls, parakeets and hawks) throughout the year; and, for many local families, the mighty baobab produces fruit, seeds and leaves that provide a critical source of income.

Baobab_Tree

Just starting a Root Capital due diligence trip in northern Senegal, beside the mighty baobab tree.

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Topics: Food Security, Women in Agriculture, West Africa

Asuom, Ghana: Where Sustainable Palm Oil is Not an Oxymoron

Posted by Lauren Baum  |  May 7, 2015 11:39:00 AM

Serendipalm

Serendipalm employees in Asuom, Ghana. Photo credit: Dr. Bronner's

One hundred miles northwest of Accra, Ghana, sits Asuom, a village of surprising and beautiful contrasts and contradictions.

The vermilion clay earth and rust-tin roofs in Asuom pop in contrast to the verdant greens of forests nearby. But it’s within these forests that an even more unexpected paradox exists: large, splayed trees producing sustainable palm oil. Four thousand acres of trees are cultivated by the 670 farmer members of Root Capital client Serendipalm – the world’s first, and largest, fair trade and organic certified palm oil company.

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Topics: Women in Agriculture, Environment, West Africa, Stories of Impact, Livelihoods

Four Observations from Ghana’s Back Roads

Posted by Katherine Borsecnik  |  Mar 27, 2014 9:43:00 AM

Katherine Borsecnik at Kuapa Kokoo

As a board director and a donor, I’m in a good spot to closely track Root Capital’s progress, which also gives me regular opportunities to reevaluate the wisdom of my own investments of time and money.  While most of my work with Root Capital is done an arm’s length from the impact, I recently had my third opportunity to visit Root Capital clients, this time in Ghana with fellow board members, Root Capital staff, and my 17-year-old daughter.

Here’s some of what I observed:

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Topics: West Africa, Livelihoods, Our Community

Providing Knowledge through Training in West Africa

Posted by Root Capital  |  Mar 20, 2014 5:20:00 PM

Mireille William

 

Working out of Root Capital's hub in Dakar, Senegal, Mireille William oversees our Financial Advisory Services (FAS) program throughout West Africa.

Earlier this week, we had a chance to catch up with her about the experiences that brought her to Root Capital and her vision for FAS in West Africa.

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Topics: West Africa, Advisory Services, Staff Profiles

From Inspiration to Action: Celebrating International Women's Day

Posted by Catherine Gill  |  Mar 10, 2014 4:15:00 PM

Producer members of the Savannah Fruits Company, a shea butter cooperative in Ghana

Producer members of Root Capital client Savannah Fruits Company, a shea butter cooperative in Ghana

Early last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center, the United Nations Office for Partnerships, and Business Call to Action hosted their annual International Women’s Day Forum, a daylong event at the United Nations marking International Women’s Day, which the UN formally established in 1977. The purpose of the annual Forum is to advance global efforts related to women’s economic empowerment. 

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Topics: Women in Agriculture, West Africa, Our Community