CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Root Capital is thrilled to announce receipt of an exceptionally generous gift from noted author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. This donation will enable Root Capital to advance its ambitious agenda of building prosperous, inclusive, and resilient rural communities.
“We are incredibly grateful to MacKenzie Scott for this tremendous gift, and for her recognition of the power and impact of smallholder farming communities,” said Root Capital’s founder and CEO, Willy Foote. “For too long, these communities have been at the bottom of the world’s agenda—marginalized by the global economy, underserved by banks, and left at the mercy of worsening climate change. At Root Capital, we’ve known for 20-plus years that rural enterprises can have an outsized impact—not just on farming communities, but on all of us—if they just have access to the right tools, resources, and information. This donation empowers us to increase the scope and scale of our services to fully realize that impact.”
Since 1999, Root Capital has provided small and growing agricultural enterprises in Africa, Indonesia, and Latin America with access to finance and training in vital business skills. These enterprises connect smallholder farmers with access to premium markets for crops like coffee, cocoa, or grains so farmers can raise their incomes. Root Capital has disbursed $1.7 billion in loans to enterprises reaching 2.3 million farming families, and trained 1,675 businesses to improve their financial management, governance, gender equity, climate adaptation, and other critical capacities.
As an unrestricted gift, this donation will contribute to the priority initiatives outlined in Root Capital’s five-year strategic plan, which represent the most pressing challenges identified by our partners in rural communities:
Access to Finance — By doubling the size of our lending portfolio to reach more underserved businesses and at least one million farming families per year.
Climate Action — By equipping 150,000 farmers in environmentally vulnerable communities to adapt to climate change and protect threatened ecosystems.
Gender Equity — By lending $114 million+ annually to gender-inclusive and women-led businesses, which face disproportionate barriers to accessing growth capital.
Next-Generation Jobs — By enhancing employment pathways for rural youth so they have alternatives to migration.
Root Capital joins more than 1,250 nonprofits that have benefitted from MacKenzie Scott’s pledge to give away her fortune to organizations with proven impact.
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