Root Capital and IKEA Foundation Partner to Unlock Opportunities for Women and Youth in Rural Kenya
NAIROBI, Kenya, June 7, 2016 — Agricultural impact investor Root Capital announced today that it has received a $3.5 million grant from the IKEA Foundation. The partnership with the IKEA Foundation will help Root Capital give small food production companies in Kenya with credit and financial training to build climate-smart livelihoods for families in rural areas, including women and young people.
“Kenya is the heart of our operations in East Africa and a springboard for innovation across our global portfolio,” said Fred Kiteng’e, Root Capital’s East Africa general manager. “With this new partnership, we will expand the delivery of our financing and advisory services needed to grow opportunity for rural Kenyans, especially women and youth.”
This program will help dozens of agricultural businesses grow in an environmentally sustainable way, while helping 35,000 farmers create better incomes for themselves and their 200,000 family members. Founded in 1999, Root Capital has provided nearly $980 million in loans to 623 businesses that collectively source from 1.2 million smallholder farmers. In 2015 alone, Root Capital's loans helped its clients generate $1.2 billion in combined revenue, 81 percent of which has been paid directly to the smallholder farmers from whom they source. Additionally, through its Women in Agriculture Initiative, Root Capital reached 200,000 women in 2015 by investing in businesses that promote gender-inclusive practices.
“The IKEA Foundation is supporting Root Capital with a $3.5 million grant because we believe that when women and families have a more sustainable income, they are able to create better opportunities for their children,” said Jonathan Spampinato, head of communications and strategic planning for the IKEA Foundation.
Building upon its ten-year track record on the continent, Root Capital aims to unlock the potential of agricultural businesses to serve the needs of families across Africa now and into the future.
About Root Capital
Root Capital is a US-based agricultural impact investor that grows rural prosperity in poor, environmentally vulnerable places in Africa, Asia, and Latin America by providing capital, delivering financial training, and strengthening market connections for small and growing agricultural businesses. Since 1999, Root Capital has disbursed $980 million in credit to 623 businesses, representing 1.2 million smallholder farmers. Root Capital’s clients produce dozens of different agricultural products, from coffee, cocoa, and cashews, to fresh fruits and vegetables, to wild-harvested products like natural gums and shea butter. For specific client examples, see: http://www.rootcapital.org/portfolio
About the IKEA Foundation
The IKEA Foundation (Stichting IKEA Foundation) is the philanthropic arm of INGKA Foundation, the owner of the IKEA Group of companies. We aim to improve opportunities for children and youth in some of the world’s poorest communities by funding holistic, long-term programs that can create substantial, lasting change. The IKEA Foundation works with strong strategic partners applying innovative approaches to achieve large-scale results in four fundamental areas of a child’s life: a place to call home; a healthy start in life; a quality education; and a sustainable family income and cope with climate change. Learn more at www.ikeafoundation.org and www.facebook.com/IKEAfoundation