Across the developing world, the rural poor—approximately 75 percent of the 2.6 billion people living on less than $2 a day— are marginalized from the formal economy. Most of these people depend on agriculture as their primary source of income. Without access to capital and viable markets for their crops, millions of small-scale farmers in the developing world are trapped in a cycle of poverty.
The World Bank estimates that economic growth in the agricultural sector is twice as effective at reducing poverty as growth in other sectors of the economy. Root Capital, an agricultural impact investor, grows rural prosperity in poor, environmentally vulnerable places in Africa and Latin America by lending capital, delivering financial training, and strengthening market connections for small and growing rural businesses.
Root Capital’s lending is directed towards businesses that are too big for microfinance, but generally unable to secure credit from conventional commercial banks – “the missing middle” of developing-world finance.