Publications

We are building a more effective field through original research and analysis. Our publications are reflective and data-driven, with a laser focus on maximizing impact.

Financing Farm Renovation: How to Build Resilience Using a Blend of Capital
by Matt Foerster

More than two years after the launch of the Coffee Farmer Resilience Initiative, we share initial learning and recommendations on how to design financial products and services for long-term farm renovation. Discover how leading coffee companies—along with the public sector, private foundations, and impact investors—are using a blend of capital to invest in the future of coffee.

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Investing in Resilience: A Shared Value Approach to Agricultural Extension
by Elizabeth Teague

We detail the role that rural businesses can play in helping smallholder producers improve resilience. By providing farmers with the knowledge and tools to improve their agricultural practices and productivity, they can contribute to more stable and prosperous farmer livelihoods, help mitigate climate change, and create shared value for entire supply chains.

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Three Ways To Keep Your Clients Front And Center
by Willy Foote

Too often, vital client voices are not always heard above the hype, or through the hyperness of entrepreneurial instincts and enterprise building. How can entrepreneurs cultivate and codify a culture of empathy and understanding and always put clients at front and center?

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Tapping The Potential Of The Artisan Economy
by Willy Foote

Agriculture is the single largest employer among developing countries, and the artisan sector is the second. The families whose livelihoods are dependent on farming are often the same families who earn income from selling handcrafted products and artwork in the off-season.

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A Client-Centric Approach: Impact Evaluation That Creates Value for Participants
by Michael McCreless

Too often, data collection for impact evaluations, regardless of the intent, feels extractive to the research participants. The purpose of this working paper is to advance conversations and collaborations about how to create value for disadvantaged populations through the very act of evaluating the impact of programs and services on those populations.

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Women in Agriculture Initiative: 2014 Annual Report
by Root Capital

Root Capital’s Women in Agriculture Initiative (WAI) seeks to promote greater economic opportunity for women by supporting small and growing businesses with access to credit and financial training and by promoting gender-inclusive practices. In 2014, we extended the reach of our financial products and services, increasing the number of gender-inclusive clients in Africa and Latin America.

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Reflections From Rwanda: Investing In One of the World’s Fastest-Growing Economies
by Willy Foote

An estimated 75 percent of Rwanda’s 12 million people live in rural areas, and a majority of them are subsistence farmers. These hardworking men and women cultivate small plots of land to meet their own food needs and, when possible, sell surpluses to earn income. For them and for their country, most opportunities for a better future originate in the soil.

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Improving Rural Livelihoods: A Study of Four Guatemalan Coffee Cooperatives
by Root Capital

Drawing from findings from four individual studies of coffee cooperatives in Guatemala, this "cluster study" explores whether Root Capital’s financing and training enable our clients to increase their impacts—and if so, to what extent.

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Applying a Gender Lens to Agriculture: Farmers, Leaders, and Hidden Influencers in the Rural Economy
by Patty Devaney

In this issue brief, we share how we've applied a gender lens to our work in smallholder agricultural finance. Through our Women in Agriculture Initiative, we're doubling down on our support for women farmers, agro-processing employees, and leaders. This program is fostering economic empowerment and underscoring the vital nature of women in less conspicuous—but high-impact—agricultural roles.

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