Transforming Women’s Lives

One field. That’s all Bertha Nzabinita had left after the devastation of the Rwandan genocide left her a widow. One field, a young son to raise, and few options.

Until she joined Musasa. With the help of this coffee cooperative, Bertha increased her harvest. Higher revenue meant she could repair her family home and pay school fees for her child.

We finance agricultural businesses that actively create jobs and opportunities for women. Our loans enable them to provide higher and more stable prices to their members—women and men.

We train women working behind-the-scenes as agronomists, accountants, or technicians. These women are the “hidden influencers” of the rural economy.

We provide Gender Equity Grants, which help businesses provide childcare, construct safe crop storage facilities, and create savings groups for women.

By joining Root Capital, you can strengthen businesses that are committed to the rise of women in agriculture. With your support, we can grow a better future for women and their communities.

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Shalem Investments: Overcoming Barriers for Women Farmers in Kenya

As shifting weather patterns make it harder to grow crops, this Kenyan grain aggregator is ensuring women farmers can adapt and prosper. With rains less predictable and growing seasons in flux, an old agribusiness adage is increasing in relevance for enterprises that work with rural smallholders: What’s good for the farmer is good for the business.  When The Rain…

Gender Equity Grants: Evaluating Key Benefits for Businesses, Workers, and Farmers

Rural women often face gendered barriers that limit their ability to be productive, control assets and incomes, and benefit equitably from their hard work. In 2016, Root Capital began disbursing Gender Equity Grants to client agricultural businesses to implement strategies aimed at improving women’s overall quality of life and their representation in the business. In this summary, we present an assessment of these activities and the reported results.

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Ketiara: Advancing Women’s Inclusion in Indonesia

In a conservative region of Indonesia, one woman is leading her cooperative through exponential growth. In the misty Gayo highlands of northern Sumatra, Ibu Rahmah is making her mark on Indonesia’s coffee industry. Twenty years ago, Rahmah began working as a small trader, purchasing a few pounds of hand-picked coffee cherries from individual farmers and reselling them to larger traders.

UCCEI: Doubling Incomes Under One Woman’s Leadership in Nicaragua

After tapping a brilliant woman leader to run the business, this coffee cooperative is thriving. Kenia Ubeda never thought she’d be running a coffee business. “I was an agronomist and a coffee farmer,” she says with a smile on her face. “I didn’t know the first thing about commercializing coffee.” But the community leaders who tapped Kenia to found and…

SOPPEXCCA: Empowering Women Coffee Farmers in Nicaragua

This coffee cooperative invests in the advancement of women, education of youth, and community health programs. SOPPEXCCA is a Fair Trade and organic-certified coffee cooperative located in the jungles of Jinotega, Nicaragua, where 65% of the nation’s coffee is grown. This business is known for its emphasis on gender inclusion and the empowerment of women farmers—40 percent of its members…

Musasa: Growing Better Futures for Women in Rwanda

After the 1994 genocide, this Rwandan coffee cooperative gave survivors a path for hope and reconstruction. In 2005, the Dukundekawa coffee cooperative, also known as Musasa, became Root Capital’s first client in Africa. Since its founding in 2004, Musasa has grown from 300 to more than 1,800 members—among them many women who were widowed by the 1994 genocide. Today, some…

APROCASSI: Changing the Lives of Women in Peru

This coffee cooperative is growing its business by relying on the leadership of women. Every morning, Dora Lisa Carrión Gómez rises early to make the morning shift at Saja, the cafe she manages in the quiet Andean town of San Ignacio in northern Peru. Saja is owned and operated by members of the APROCASSI coffee cooperative’s women’s group. These 72…

C.A.C. Pangoa: Providing an Alternative to Coca Production in Peru

In the wake of paramilitary violence, this cooperative gave farmers alternatives to the drug trade—and became the beating heart of its rural community. Nestled in the foothills where the Amazon rainforest meets the towering Andes Mountains, the Peruvian town of San Martín de Pangoa exudes an aura of calm. Life seems to move at a leisurely pace; ambling through the…

La Vivriére: Reclaiming Nutritious Home-Grown Grains in Senegal

Recognizing the need for affordable, nutrient-rich alternatives to imported rice, this agroprocessing business built up the market for traditional Senegalese grains. After years of watching working mothers feed their children imported rice rather than local Senegalese grains, Bineta Coulibaly decided to take action. Traditionally, women used locally-produced and nutrient-rich millet flour to make couscous, arraw (small balls of flour cooked…