© Root Capital

Our investments

ACRE (Access to Capital for Rural Enterprises) is a consortium of five international NGOs (Christian AidPractical ActionTraidcraftTwin and Challenges Worldwide) which sources and supports rural enterprises with the potential to create jobs, deliver systemic benefits to the value chains in which they operate, and benefit the poor and marginalised. ACRE seeks to address the lack of tailored support and access to capital available to small and growth-stage rural enterprises in the global south.

Small Foundation has provided support to ACRE to build regional capacity in Africa.  


Acumen is a not-for-profit social investor that makes patient long-term debt and equity investments in early-stage companies providing reliable and affordable access to agricultural inputs and markets, quality education, clean energy, healthcare services, formal housing, and safe drinking water to low-income customers.

Small Foundation has agreed a multiannual strategic collaboration agreement with Acumen to support their agricultural portfolio teams in sub-Saharan Africa.


AgDevCo is a not-for-profit distribution company focused on supporting agricultural development businesses operating in sub-Saharan Africa. Acting as principal, AgDevCo invests social venture capital to create commercially viable agribusiness investment opportunities, bringing them to the point where they can attract private investment from domestic and overseas investors. By taking a hands-on project development role and investing in early-stage agribusinesses, AgDevCo takes out many of the front-end costs and risks which deter investment in African agriculture, thereby leveraging significant private capital in support of agribusiness opportunities which involve transformational benefits for rural communities.

Small Foundation had a multiannual strategic collaboration agreement with AgDevCo to provide support for the core costs of their operations. Small Foundation continues to engage with AgDevCo on its work.


The All Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture and Food for Development brings together UK Parliamentarians concerned with agriculture, nutrition and wider food security in the developing world with the aim of engendering progressive and informed debate within Westminster and beyond.

Small Foundation is a member of the APPG Supporters’ Group.


The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) is a global membership network of organisations that support entrepreneurship in emerging markets as a way to create prosperity for the world’s poor.

Small Foundation has a multiannual strategic collaboration agreement with ANDE to support the network’s development, including enhancing ANDE chapter outputs in East and West Africa. 


The Boma Project implements a poverty graduation program with ultra-poor women in the drought-threatened arid lands. BOMA helps its participants to start small businesses in their rural communities, so they can pay for food, school fees and medical care for their families.

Small Foundation is supporting BOMA to develop its scaling strategy.


Conveners.org was created to foster coordination, collaboration, and learning among impact-focused conveners and accelerators. Conveners.org is a nonprofit organisation that develops programmes, tools, and resources to support these communities in advancing systems-level change.

Small Foundation has provided a seed grant to support the development of an accelerator selection tool as part of Conveners.org’s Accelerating the Accelerators work.


Doreo Partners is a for-profit Nigerian impact investing firm which invests in early-stage businesses that improve the livelihoods of Nigerian smallholder farmers. Doreo Partner’s flagship investment, Babban Gona, is an agricultural franchise that inspires and enables hard-working smallholder farmers reach their full potential by providing a private sector channel for cost effective delivery of enhanced agricultural technologies and end-to-end services that optimise yields and labour productivity, while simultaneously improving market access.

Small Foundation has provided support to Doreo Partners for R&D to inform the development of a new business utilising agricultural remote sensing technology.


Engineers Without Border Canada (EWB) creates change by supporting social innovations in Canada and Africa that can break the systems that sustain poverty. EWB promotes policies to foster more equitable development, and invests in leaders who enable others to reach their full potential.

Small Foundation has a multiannual strategic collaboration agreement to continue and enhance EWB’s existing capability to enhance social businesses in Africa that provide services and products that benefit the poor.


Equity for Africa Group Ltd (EFAG) is an equipment finance company specialised in serving small and medium enterprises and farmers in East Africa.

Small Foundation has provided seed funding for the development of EFAG.


Farm Africa is an international development organisation that provides training and support to poor rural communities in East Africa. The Maendeleo Agriculture Enterprise Fund (MAEF), founded and managed by FARM-Africa, targets the needs of emerging agribusinesses that contribute directly to smallholder commercialisation and rural economic growth. The MAEF supports partner enterprises to create new market linkages that accelerate the commercial growth of smallholder farmers and tests new business models that achieve competitive aggregation of smallholder crops to meet domestic, regional and international standards.

Small Foundation had a multiannual strategic collaboration agreement with Farm Africa to support the operational costs of the MAEF.


GORTA-Self Help Africa is an international development organisation that supports communities in sub-Saharan Africa to grow more food, diversify their farm production, and sell their surpluses at a profit by establishing rural micro-finance programmes, and supporting the creation of producer organisations and rural enterprises, enabling farm families to access markets and add value to their produce.

Small Foundation had a multinanual strategic collaboration agreement with GORTA-Self Help Africa to support their operational expenditure. While this agreement has now expired, Small Foundation continues to engage with the organisation on its private sector work.


The Initiative for Smallholder Finance (ISF) is a multi-donor and investor platform for the development of financial services for the smallholder farmer market. It was launched in May 2013 with the intention of making marked progress toward closing the gap between the over $200 billion in smallholder financing need and the current $50 billion supply in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and South and Southeast Asia. 

Small Foundation has provided unrestricted funding to the ISF to help build core staff capacity of the ISF team.


Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) is a Paris-based impact investing group dedicated to small and growing businesses in sub-Saharan Africa. I&P’s mission is to contribute to the rise of a sustainable and dynamic private sector in sub-Saharan Africa.

SF has decided to invest in I&P's IPDEV2, a financial vehicle dedicated to the support of early-stage businesses through the creation of a network of equity investment teams in sub-Saharan Africa.


One Acre Fund is dedicated to supporting small-scale farmers to improve their lives. One Acre Fund combines technical assistance, microfinance, farm inputs and market facilitation to help farmers increase yields and realise greater incomes. Small Foundation is supporting One Acre Fund to measure the impact of improved farmer incomes on farmer families’ quality of life.


Open Capital Advisors (OCA) is a management consulting and financial advisory with offices in Kenya, Uganda and Zambia that works with local enterprises, investors, development partners, and the public sector to identify opportunities that advance African economies and build future generations of business leaders.   A unique feature of their business model is developing local talent, by sourcing junior staff at local universities to be consultants and providing training throughout their career. 

Small Foundation has provided OCA with a working capital facility to expand its work with local enterprises across the region. 


The Opportunity Fund is an initiative by Partners in Food Solutions, Technoserve, and Root Capital, with support from the Initiative for Smallholder Finance, to explore ways to reach the ‘last mile’ of SME lending: loans in the range of $10,000 - $50,000.

Small Foundation has provided funding for an initial phase of this R&D work.


Partners in Food Solutions (PFS) is a non-profit organisation that links the technical and business expertise of volunteer employees from General MillsCargillRoyal DSM and Bühler to small and growing food processors and millers in the developing world.

Small Foundation has a multiannual strategic collaboration agreement with PFS to support innovations to increase the sustainability and scalability of the organisation’s impact.


Rent-to-Own (RTO) is a social business that provides high-quality productive assets to small-scale entrepreneurs in rural Zambia. By providing the necessary equipment, training and financing that are otherwise inaccessible in rural areas, RTO taps into the potential of Zambia’s entrepreneurial capacity and catalyses business growth opportunities for aspiring Zambian entrepreneurs.

Small Foundation is providing support for RTO to scale up operations and further develop its product offering.


Root Capital is a non-profit social investment fund that grows rural prosperity in poor, environmentally vulnerable places in Africa,Latin America and Indonesia by lending capital, delivering financial training and strengthening market connections for agricultural small and growing businesses.

Small Foundation has a multi-annual strategic collaboration agreement to support Root Capital as it works to optimise both profitability and impact with an expanded business model, including by collaborating with a variety of partners and peers to channel capital to hard-to-serve markets.


TechnoServe works with enterprising people in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses and industries. The organisation helps grow strong markets that create income, jobs and wealth in poor communities.

Small Foundation provides unrestricted funding to help support Technoserve’s cross-organisational learning, systems development, and external engagement.

Small Foundation has also made a contribution towards Technoserve senior vice president Simon Winter’s sabbatical senior fellowship at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government Harvard Kennedy School.


The Unreasonable Institute aims to solve the world’s biggest problems by equipping entrepreneurs tackling these problems with the mentorship, capital, and network to make it happen.

Small Foundation has provided core funding for the institute and, in addition, has supported the participation of African entrepreneurs.


Wilton Park  is an executive arm of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office which, over a period of 3 years, convened a series of conferences on global food security. Small Foundation provided financial support for participation by African experts.


Paul Polak’s book, The Business Solution to Poverty, co-authored with Mal Warwick: Small Foundation supported the promotional costs of this publication.


Small Foundation earmarks a small proportion of its funding for the needs of disadvantaged Irish people

Ashoka is founded on the insight that, throughout the world, social entrepreneurs are creating innovative solutions to societal needs and delivering extraordinary results that improve the lives of millions of people.

Small Foundation provides financial support for an initiative by Ashoka Ireland, called Change Nation. This is a social innovation platform aimed at tackling some of Ireland’s biggest challenges in education, healthcare, environment, economic development and civic participation and inclusion. It combines the ideas of leading social innovators from around the world with the efforts of social entrepreneurs in Ireland supported by the Irish public and private sectors.

 

The information given on the strategies of the organisations funded relates to the time the funds were provided and is not necessarily current.

 

Website Design and CMS by Adept Digital