Gender Equity

Agricultural enterprises can help level the playing field for rural women, boosting their economic opportunities and agency.

The Challenge

Women are the backbone of the agricultural sector. Yet numerous barriers—educational, economic, and social—prevent them from accessing vital resources and opportunities. This inequity doesn't just impact women; it can have damaging consequences for rural economies as a whole.

The good news is that by investing in rural women, we can increase agricultural productivity, reduce poverty and hunger, and promote economic growth. Closing the gender gap would not only help women prosper, it would help their families and communities thrive.

Our Approach

Seek out and unlock potential of businesses committed to gender equity.

Build women's financial and agricultural knowledge so they can thrive, personally and professionally.

Encourage and support women-led design of new products and services that benefit the whole community.

Demonstrate a model for investing in women in agriculture to help catalyze gender-smart policies and practices.

Our Impact

$92.3M

in loans to gender-inclusive and women-led businesses in 2022.

1,641

women who received training to build their professional skills since 2021.

128

additional jobs for women supported by Root Capital in 2022.

581K

women farmers reached since 2012.


Stories of Impact


Transforming the Lives of Rural Women: Meet Sylveria

This profile is part of a series that captures how Root Capital’s Gender Equity Grants are transforming the lives of rural women. Read more here.

Transforming the Lives of Rural Women: Meet Margaret

This profile is part of a series that captures how Root Capital’s Gender Equity Grants are transforming the lives of rural women. Read more here.

Transforming the Lives of Rural Women: Meet Filomena

This profile is part of a series that captures how Root Capital’s Gender Equity Grants are transforming the lives of rural women. Read more here.

Transforming the Lives of Rural Women: Meet David

This profile is part of a series that captures how Root Capital’s Gender Equity Grants are transforming the lives of rural women. Read more here.

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…

Serendipalm: Charting a New Path in an Industry Known for Environmental Degradation in Ghana

By sourcing palm oil from pre-existing areas of cultivated land, Serendipalm is defying industry norms of deforestation and contributing to sustainable development in rural Ghana.