Access to Finance

When small and growing agricultural enterprises can access affordable financing, they have a larger impact on rural communities.


Financing catalyzes enterprise growth, which results in better incomes, services, and other support for farming families. Over more than 20 years, Root Capital has loaned $1.6 billion to agricultural enterprises worldwide, proving that these under-served businesses are bankableand that access to finance can have a ripple effect in rural communities.

The Challenge

Too many small and growing agricultural enterprises are stuck in the “missing middle”considered too big for microfinance and too small and risky for commercial banks. Without access to credit, cooperatives and other businesses are incredibly vulnerable to shocks, from COVID-19 to climate disaster.

But businesses with reliable financingtailored to their unique needs and harvest cyclesare resilient. When that financing is paired with training in critical business skills, the potential for growth and innovation is boundless.

Our Approach

Provide tailored, affordable financing to under-served agricultural enterprises.

Build enterprise capacity to access and manage credit.

Pilot blended financing models to reach early-stage, riskier businesses.

Demonstrate proven models and strengthen the agricultural finance sector.

Our Impact

$1.6B

83%

25%

disbursed to under-served agricultural enterprises.

of our 2020 loans filled credit needs unmet by commercial lenders.

average annual growth of Root Capital clients.


Stories of Impact


Latest Findings About Root Capital’s Impact on Rural Livelihoods

Note: This blog is the final post in a four-part series exploring how Root Capital measures and manages the impact of our lending. Read parts one, two, and three. Impact measurement and management is at the heart of Root Capital’s work, helping us optimize our efforts to transform rural communities. By measuring our impact, we…

Evaluating How Root Capital’s Client Businesses Impact Smallholder Livelihoods: Cocoa Cooperatives in Peru

This study assesses the impact of Root Capital-financed businesses in the Peruvian cocoa sector on farmer livelihoods and gender inclusion using a retrospective comparison group matching technique.

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STANFORD SOCIAL INNOVATION REVIEW — How Investors Can Integrate Social Impact With Financial Performance to Improve Both

Root Capital is a member of the Impact Frontiers Collaboration, which developed four steps to help investors integrate impact with financial analysis in their decision-making. It could change the way investors around the world allocate capital to achieve financial, social, and environmental goals. This article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review shows how. View Article

These Guatemalan Farmers Are Harnessing the Power of Digital Data With Help From Root Capital

Since the advent of the internet, digital technology has revolutionized the coffee industry. Buyers price their contracts with algorithmic software. Roasters optimize the flavor of their beans by controlling heat to a fraction of a degree. Even baristas use high-tech kits to test the chemical makeup of their brews. But while the world has changed around them, many coffee farmers have been left out.

RAOS: Training for a More Resilient Future in Honduras

In the face of adversity, this coffee cooperative is using credit and training from Root Capital to help its farmers thrive. It all started with 19 farmers and one contract. In 1997, following a long harvest season, farmers in the highlands of Honduras banded together to export just over 5,000 pounds of coffee to a group of buyers in Germany.

Triunfo Verde: Preserving Local Ecosystems Through Economic Opportunity in Mexico

This coffee cooperative in southern Mexico is showing that responsible agriculture can help preserve natural resources. The misty forests of southern Mexico’s El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve teem with life. This cloud forest—one of the most biodiverse in the world—serves as a critical habitat for thousands of species of migratory birds and endangered animals. But fragile ecosystems like El Triunfo are…

Cómo la tecnología digital sistematiza la información para las empresas rurales

La versión original de este blog apareció en inglés en el sitio web del Pace Able Foundation. La cooperativa cafetalera CECAFE se encuentra en Lonya Grande, el cual es un pueblo ubicado en la región montañosa de la región Amazonas, Perú, a un par de horas en carro de la ciudad principal más cercana. Los socios de la cooperativa viven aún más afuera, por caminos  serpenteantes próximos al Parque Nacional Cutervo.

How Digital Technology is Democratizing Data for Rural Businesses

This post originally appeared on the website of the Pace Able Foundation. The town of Lonya Grande sits in the mountainous region of Amazonas, Peru. It is here, hours by car from the nearest major city, that the coffee cooperative CECAFE has its headquarters. Members of the cooperative live even farther afield, down winding roads in the shadows of the Cutervo National Park.

SOPACDI: Promoting Peace Through Prosperity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, this cooperative is providing coffee farmers with the tools they need to rebuild their lives after war. The province of South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has a dangerous past—and a complicated present. The lake that gives the province its name divides the DRC from neighboring Rwanda to the…

In Tough Conditions, This Nicaraguan Cooperative Blossoms

Wiston Vílchez had barely turned 24 when he took over as general manager of the fledgling Flor de Dalia coffee cooperative in 2014. At the time, the cooperative consisted of a handful of families who sold their coffee to local brokers at rock-bottom prices. The brokers then sold the coffee on the international market with a huge mark-up—pocketing all the profit for themselves.