This is discussion about Root Capital: Pioneering Finance for Rural Communities.
I used to work for Root and know first hand the HUGE impact this organization has on farmers, families and entire communities. Brings a whole new banking model to rural communities accomplishes so many of the goals that those of us passionate about greater global parity and sustainable development share. It's financing that like a great root structure reaches the rural farmer, preventing mass urban migration and keeping the profits from the labor in the community, improving health, education and promoting financial literacy.
What's more they'll prove to banks, that rural SME's are bankable with their amazing 99% repayment rate. (how many commercial banks giving out loans these days can attest to that?)
Root Capital is creating real, serious, and exciting change and has my whole-hearted vote...I'd give it three if I could!
On October 27, 2010, the judges reviewed entries for the Changemakers G-20 SME Finance Challenge competition and would like to pass on the following feedback for your entry (below). Thank you for applying and for your hard work in the field. We are excited to archive your entry to serve as a leading solution for the worldwide community of innovators. We wish you continued luck with your innovative, sustainable, and socially impactful initiatives.
All the best,
The Changemakers Team
This model has it all: it is high-impact, scalable, pro-poor and addresses vulnerable societies. At the moment it reaches 300 SMEs, and they in turn have reach to 400,000 small farmers. So the SME is essentially the conduit to coordinating a lot of small farmers.
It is creative, thoughtful, professional, and innovative, and reaches SMEs at a reasonable cost. One possible weakness is its focus on the coffee sector: it works well with coffee, where the product requires processing, but where the model breaks down is on most field crops or things that are consumable without processing. It will be interesting to watch this model applied to other industries going forward.