Articles by Willy Foote
NexThought Monday – Between the CEO and the BoP: Root Capital report focuses on the often overlooked role of women as “middle managers”
Root Capital CEO Willy Foote says the impact investment firm realized that most approaches to women’s economic empowerment have focused on the opposite ends of the economic spectrum: business leaders and entrepreneurs on one side, and women workers at the BoP on the other. But what about women who are not CEOs or entrepreneurs but who hold positions critical to the success of the enterprise?
Introducing the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance: The group’s seven social lenders collectively lent $360M in 2013
Root Capital and six other social lenders recently announced the launch of the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF), an industry alliance committed to promoting the development of the smallholder agricultural financial market. The $360 million collectively disbursed by the seven CSAF members in 2013 is just a drop in the bucket relative to the vast unmet need, but we’re optimistic that it’s the start of something much larger.
In Mali’s southern villages, gums, not guns, are proliferating. These natural gums are being harvested from trees that grow wild across the African Sahel, and exported to Europe to meet rising demand for their use in products from pharmaceuticals to cosmetics to baked goods. In 2010 Root Capital is offered financing to gum producer Produits du Sud to secure contracts with international buyers and expand its reach from 30 farmers spread across five villages to 2,000 farmers in 200 villages in 2012.