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

$63M

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

150K

women who received training to build their professional skills.

541

additional jobs for women supported by Root Capital.

554K

women farmers reached since 2012.


Stories of Impact


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.

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…

On “The Road Where Life Was Once Worth Nothing,” This Business Gives Farmers Purpose

Thirty years ago, this place looked very different. 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 town’s mostly-unpaved streets, you’ll see mototaxis rumble slowly past indigenous women cradling their babies in brightly-colored wool blankets. The hills rising above the town are patchworked with a lattice of small farms, and every moto and pickup truck seems to be laden with nearly-bursting sacks of coffee.

Gender Equity Grants: Helping Kenya’s Working Mothers Succeed

No woman should have to choose between caring for her children and pursuing a fulfilling career. In this Kenyan village, working mothers found a way to do both.

This Woman Is Making Her Mark on Indonesia’s Coffee Industry

In the misty Gayo highlands of northern Sumatra, Ibu Rahmah is making her mark on Indonesia’s coffee industry.