Grassroots Business Fund

NOVICA artisan, Mayra, carries on the weaving tradition of her grandmother

We are a dynamic and diverse team dedicated to lift people out of poverty. Visit GBF’s Employment Opportunities to join us!

Natasha Barantseva

Natasha Barantseva

LatAm Regional Manager - Lima, Peru

Natasha is responsible for positioning GBF in the Latin America region while building partnerships, identifying and structuring new investment opportunities, and supervising GBF’s portfolio and BAS programs in Latin America. She is also in charge of the day-to-day operations of the Lima office. Natasha previously worked in international finance as a Transaction Leader for IFC’s Grassroots Business Initiative (GBF’s predecessor). She holds a BA in Economics from the International University in Moscow, an MA in Liberal Arts with focus on Latin American Studies from Dartmouth College, an MBA from Georgetown University and a Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship from INSEAD. Natasha speaks Russian, English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French. She enjoys running, playing tennis, dancing salsa and traveling.

Favorite Thing about GBF: “Finding diverse and high impact business models that have the poor meeting the inspiring entrepreneurs. Also, working with the amazing, talented international team.”

Lilian Mramba

Lilian Mramba

Africa Regional Manager - Nairobi, Kenya

Lillian leads the overall GBF strategy in Africa, including management of the investment portfolio, business advisory programs, and impact measurement activities, as well as business development and partnership building. Prior to GBF, Lilian worked as a Business Assurance Manager at Moss Adams LLP and as an Associate at African Development Bank in Tunis. Lillian received an MBA with honors from Thunderbird School of Global Management, and is a Magna Cum Laude graduate from the University of Idaho with a BS in Accounting and Finance; she is also a Certified Public Accountant. Lillian is fluent in English and Kiswahili, and conversational in Spanish and French. She enjoys running, exploring the world and most recently, adventure sports.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “We have a young, energetic, and passionate team that is trying to do something that could potentially become a game-changer in the development space.”

Rebekah Plotkin

Rebekah Plotkin

VP Finance & Administration - Washington DC

Rebekah is responsible for GBF’s HQ and global financial management and office administration, IT, BAS program financing, and stakeholder management. She has worked for the US Committee for UNDP and served as a delegate to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development-16. Rebekah holds an MBA from University of Maryland and a BA in International Studies from American University with a focus on International Development. She has lived in the US, UK and Cuba. Rebekah is fluent in English and knows an intermediate level of Spanish. In her spare time, Rebekah enjoys running, traveling abroad to experience cultures, good food, and long walks around DC.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “I like the people who work here, and I am committed to GBF’s mission to provide economic opportunities and change the way economic development is done.”

Jaime Ramirez

Jaime Ramirez

Chief Investment Officer - Washington DC

In 2008, Jaime Ramirez joined part of the founding team of the Grassroots Business Fund (GBF). Jaime is responsible for managing GBF’s investment activities globally, including the delivery of Business Advisory Services. Prior to his current role as Chief Investment Officer, he served as GBF’s Portfolio Manager for the Latin America and Asia regions.

Jaime has over 15 years of experience in finance, project management, risk analysis and operations consulting in developing countries. He has helped develop GBF’s operations, standards and initiatives. Jaime became familiar with high impact businesses as a business associate for Gone Rural in the Kingdom of Swaziland, where he supported the management team through an assignment with MBAs Without Borders.

Jaime holds a BSc in Physics from Universidad de los Andes in Colombia, an International MBA from EAE Business School and a specialization in Structured Financial Products from Institut d’Estudis Financers in Spain.

Jaime is fluent in English and Spanish and intermediate in French and Italian. Jaime has lived in Colombia, Peru, Spain, the Kingdom of Swaziland and is currently based in the United States.

Harold Rosen

Harold Rosen

Chief Executive Officer - Washington DC

In 2004, Harold Rosen founded and led IFC’s Grassroots Business Initiative, which spun off into the Grassroots Business Fund in 2008.

Prior to his work with GBI and GBF, Harold created and served as Director of the Small and Medium Enterprise department, a joint IFC/World Bank department established in March 2000. During his time at IFC, he also served as an Investment Officer in IFC’s Latin America and Africa Departments; IFC’s Manager for Financial Planning and Policy; a member of the task force starting IFC’s operations in the former Soviet Union; Manager in IFC’s Asia Department; and Director of IFC’s Central and Southern Europe Department. He has both funded and managed large investment portfolios, and he played a major role in starting IFC’s microfinance and SME activities, including creation and management of the Mekong and Southeast Europe Small Enterprise Facilities, two of the field-based, SME oriented technical assistance initiatives funded by the IFC and other donors and managed by IFC.

Harold joined the World Bank Group in 1978 through the Young Professionals Program. He holds an M.B.A. from Harvard, and Bachelors and Masters in regional science degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.

Zoya Aleem

Zoya Aleem

Global Portfolio Analyst - Washington, DC

Zoya oversees investment processes and analyzes the performance of GBF’s global portfolio; she also creates investment status reports for key stakeholders. Zoya has conducted research for development-focused ventures in Canada and the US, including a USAID-funded health project led by Futures Group. She spent a semester in Geneva studying the role of international organizations in development at the School for International Training. Zoya holds a BA in both Economics and International Development from McGill University; she also received a Coursera Certificate in Introduction to Financial Accounting offered by the University of Pennsylvania. Zoya enjoys playing soccer, running, traveling and writing.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “Being part of an optimistic and passionate set of minds and meeting people of different backgrounds.”

Julio Ayca

Julio Ayca

LatAm Portfolio Manager - Lima, Peru

Julio manages the day-to-day portfolio activities and supervises BAS performance and E&S compliance. Julio was as a Senior Investment Officer in CASEIF, a venture capital fund focused on Central America, and as a researcher at INCAE, where he wrote more than 35 academic documents published in Revista de Empresa, the Journal of Business Research, the European Case Clearing House, and Harvard Business Online. Julio holds an MBA from INCAE Business School and a BS in Industrial Engineering from Universidad De Lima. He has lived in Central America for 11 years and is fluent in Spanish and English. He enjoys running, outdoor activities and spending time with his wife and two kids.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “I like GBF’s mission and the commitment of the staff, which has achieved challenging targets during the last year.”

Vijay Chandrashekar

Vijay Chandrashekar

Investment Officer - New Delhi, India

Vijay is responsible for management advisory and recovery/growth plans and compliance of GBF’s India clients. He also sources fresh investment opportunities. Vijay has worked as a Senior Manager for Mahindra Partners and Mahindra Two Wheelers. He has also held positions at Axis Capital and Mahindra’s in-house Mergers and Acquisitions division. He holds an MBA from the Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, India and a Bachelor of Commerce from Mumbai University. Vijay is fluent in English, Hindi and Tamil. In his spare time, Vijay enjoys paragliding, sailing, running half marathons and sports.

Favorite thing about GBF: “The goal oriented approach and the empowerment to drive an initiative through with considerable freedom and ownership.”

Sahiba Chauhan

Sahiba Chauhan

Portfolio Analyst - New Delhi, India

Sahiba reviews pipeline deals, supervises current investees and monitors compliance and other metrics. In addition, she coordinates and monitors advisory services for all India portfolio companies and manages the operations of the India office. Sahiba started her career with Deloitte Consulting (Strategy & Operations), after which she worked in the development sector as a Senior Analyst with a Delhi based non-profit, providing capacity building support to partner organizations and raising capital for early stage social entrepreneurs and grants for non-profits. She graduated with distinction in Economics (Honors) from Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi and speaks English, Hindi and French. Sahiba loves food, the ocean and traveling to new places to experience new cultures and meet people.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “The opportunity to learn every day from a dynamic, driven and diverse group of individuals and companies who are using innovative business models to drive sustainable economic value to low income groups globally.”

Neil Christy

Neil Christy

Communications & Executive Assistant - Washington, DC

Neil helps coordinate executive activities and priorities. In addition, he works with the communications team on written publications, graphic design, and stakeholder relations. Neil received a bachelor’s degree in Political Economy from Georgetown University. He enjoys cooking, homebrewing mead, and traveling.

Favorite thing about GBF: “Learning from expert team members about the drivers of business success in emerging markets.”

Kathryn DeSutter

Kathryn DeSutter

Program Analyst - Washington, DC

Kathryn monitors GBF’s portfolio-level social impact. She holds a BA in International Politics & Economics from Middlebury College, where she studied Spanish and Mandarin. In her free time she enjoys hiking and camping.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “I love working with GBF’s global team.”

Olga Egorova

Olga Egorova

Investment Analyst - Lima, Peru

Olga supports the analysis of potential investments and the supervision of GBF’s Latin America portfolio. She has worked previously in macroeconomic research and data analysis, having conducted corporate strategy development and modeling of international energy markets for a major Russian oil company. She also has worked as an Investment Banking analyst. Olga holds a BS and a MA in Economics from Moscow State University, an MBA from University of Michigan and a CFA charter. She is fluent in English, Spanish and Russian. In her free time Olga enjoys going to concerts, cooking Russian food and traveling.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “Working with purpose in a super friendly and collaborative environment.”

Rose Galamgam

Rose Galamgam

Finance Officer - Washington, DC

Rose handles GBF’s Accounts Receivable and prepares cash flow planning, capital calls, month-end reports and data entry for tax filing. In addition, she coordinates with the accountants on a daily basis and handles audit work. Rose worked as a consultant for the IFC and IBRD consulting on finance projects. Prior to consulting, she served as a Finance/Budget Officer at IFC and as a Budget Analyst at the Asian Development Bank in Manila. Rose holds a post-graduate Certificate in Finance from Keller Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Manila. She is fluent in English and Tagalog, and she enjoys gardening and going out of town with family and friends.

Favorite thing about GBF: “My favorite thing in GBF is when reflows come in 100% and in a timely manner. I’m also excited about GBF’s next (larger) phase – couldn’t wait to prepare the first capital call.”

Amos Gichinga

Amos Gichinga

Sr. Investment Officer - Nairobi Kenya

Amos is responsible for business development, investment booking, BAS and support in the supervision of GBF’s Africa portfolio. For over six years, Amos worked with GroFin, managing the Kenya portfolio. Before that, Amos practiced corporate finance and transaction support services at KPMG. Amos started his career at PwC handling audits of for-profit entities. He holds an MBA from the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) in Berlin, Germany, a B.Comm from the University of Nairobi and a Diploma on Private Sector Growth from the Swedish Institute for Public Administration, Stockholm. Amos sits on the Board of Mathenge Technical Training Institute (MTTI), and is a volunteer judge on ‘The Next Big Thing,’ an initiative that supports innovations in Kenya.

Laila Kassam

Laila Kassam

Africa Office Assistant - Nairobi, Kenya

Laila helps coordinate all office operations for GBF’s Nairobi office. She has interned at Catholic Relief Services in the East Africa regional office and at the Embassy of Mexico in Nairobi, Kenya. Laila graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from the United States International University Africa. She won the Kenya Presidential Gold Award, a member of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Association, where she acquired positive life skills to make a difference for her community, country and the world. Laila is fluent in English and Kiswahili; she loves travelling, exercising, spending time with family and friends.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “The team that I work with and the growth opportunity provided by GBF”

Malavika Kumar

Malavika Kumar

Indonesia Country Manager - Jakarta, Indonesia

Malavika is responsible for leading the Indonesia investments program and portfolio. In addition, she designs and monitors BAS programs for Indonesia clients. Malavika has worked for a US-based life sciences company on equity raise, market analysis, business planning and M&A opportunities. She also worked as a corporate banker for one of the most successful commercial banks in India and later worked in M&A consulting and a PE fund of funds in Washington DC. She has lived in India, Indonesia and the US, and is fluent in English, Hindi and Bahasa Indonesia. She enjoys hiking, running, skiing and diving.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “Diversity, Emerging Markets and Impact”

Saurabh Lahoti

Saurabh Lahoti

Investment Officer - New Delhi, India

Saurabh is responsible for sourcing new investment opportunities in India, leading due diligence, managing client and partner relationships, and monitoring BAS programs. He has served as Director of Finance Services at Ennovent GmBH, Delhi, as Deputy Manager of Investments for Rajasthan Venture Capital Fund, Jaipur, as Manager for Ashland Inc., Ohio and Mumbai, and as a Software Engineer for Infosys Technologies, Bangalore. Saurabh holds an MBA from Ohio State University, a Bachelor of Technology from Banaras Hindu University and he passed the CFA® Level I & Level II. Saurabh enjoys travelling, photography and meeting new people.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “Working with passionate entrepreneurs and team, learning about different facets of business and working with a multicultural team.”

Eric Meissner

Eric Meissner

Risk & Advisory Manager - Washington, DC

Eric executes global credit and internal audit functions out of the Chief Investment and Executive Offices. He has nearly 15 years of international development experience working with multi- & bi-lateral organizations, diplomatic, defense, and development agencies, foreign governments and stakeholders in the Middle East, Central Asia, North & Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Balkans. Eric holds an MBA from the University of Oxford and a BA in International Relations & Political Science from Syracuse University. He is fluent in English. He has traded in ambitions of trekking across Antarctica, climbing Everest and discovering Cold Fusion in order to raise his baby daughter Isla.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “The people (GBF and investees).”

Ezra Musoke

Ezra Musoke

Africa Portfolio Manager & Sr. Advisor - Nairobi, Kenya

Ezra is responsible for the performance of GBF’s Africa portfolio and participates in the selection of new investments. He has a strong track record in SME investment in the East African region, investing through equity, quasi-equity structures and business development services. Ezra was a Partner at InReturn Capital and a General Manager for GroFin Tanzania. He holds a Masters in Financial Management, Post Graduate diplomas in Banking and Financial Management and a BA from Makerere University, Uganda. Ezra is Ugandan-born, raised in Kenya and currently living in Tanzania. He is fluent in English and Swahili. He is a huge sports fanatic who knows all sorts of sports statistics.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “Social impact and Africa spread.”

Dennis Otieno Onyango

Dennis Otieno Onyango

Investment Analyst - Nairobi, Kenya

Dennis supports Investment Officers with sourcing and screening new investment opportunities in Africa; conducts due diligence, including financial due diligence and modeling; assesses social returns on investments; and measures investments’ fit with GBF’s strategy. He has also worked as an Associate Consultant at Transglobal Consultants Ltd. Dennis received a Bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration and an MBA in Finance from the United States International University (USIU-A). He was awarded the Best Employee award at Consumer Insight Limited for his remarkable management of projects as well as a Certificate of achievement from the Marketing and Social Research Association. He is fluent in English and Swahili. Dennis enjoys watching documentaries, playing football and going to the theater.

Favorite thing about GBF: “Investing in businesses that have an empirical social impact at the grassroots. Working with a dynamic group of intelligent individuals across multiple continents.”

Vikram Raman

Vikram Raman

India Country Manager - New Delhi, India

Vikram oversees and leads the investment and operational processes of GBF in India, coming with a strong impact investing background. He was Vice President at Unitus Capital leading equity raise transactions in agriculture, healthcare and financial inclusion sectors. Prior, he was a Portfolio Manager at Acumen Fund, managing several investments in their India portfolio. Vikram also worked in the audit and financial consulting domains with the BDO group. He is a Chartered Accountant and holds an MBA in Finance and Strategy from the Indian School of Business and a B.Com from University of Madras. Vikram speaks Tamil, Hindi and English. He is an avid photographer who enjoys travelling, spirituality, stargazing, movies and tennis.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “A fantastic team, commitment to finding innovative structures and supporting our investees with value added services.”

Mayra Ramirez

Mayra Ramirez

Operations Manager & BAS Coordinator - Lima, Peru

Mayra is responsible for coordinating and monitoring all activities related to BAS and Environmental & Social performance, managing GBF LatAm’s portfolio data and preparing regional reports for management; she is also responsible for the LatAm office operations. Prior to GBF Mayra has worked in service companies in charge of cash management and team organization. Mayra holds a BA in Hospitality Management from San Ignacio de Loyola University, Peru, and is currently working towards a post graduate program in Finance Management at Centrum Católica, Peru. She speaks Spanish (native), English, French and Portuguese. In her spare time, Mayra enjoys traveling, baking and dancing.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “Working with such a collaborative and friendly team who is committed to GBF’s mission and shares its values.”

Beth Raymond

Beth Raymond

Operations Officer - Washington, DC

Beth is responsible for day-to-day internal operations including support to our field offices, accounts payable, assisting with IT, communications, human resources and improving GBF’s operations. Beth has been in the International Development and Financial Inclusion sectors interning at Accion International, MicroRate, and United Way. She holds a double major in Business Administration and International Development from American University. Beth is originally from the Boston area and studied abroad in a home stay in Paris. She is fluent in English and basic French. In her spare time she enjoys Yoga and running.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “Everyday brings a new adventure! I love working with such a diverse group of colleagues who give a unique view to impact investing and changing the world.”

Karan Sawhney

Karan Sawhney

Investment Analyst - New Delhi, India

Karan supervises GBF’s portfolio companies in India, conducts due diligence on potential transactions, and forecasts financial information for portfolio and potential clients. He spent two years in the Governance, Risk and Internal Controls, and Corporate Finance teams of Mazars in India, where he was involved in the Finance, Human Resources and production audits, along with valuation analysis and due diligence. Prior, he was on the Strategy and Operations team at Deloitte Consulting in India. Karan holds a Masters in Accounting and Finance from University of Exeter and a Bachelor of Commerce (with Honours) from the University of Delhi. He is fluent in English and Hindi. In his spare time he enjoys playing football, golf and traveling.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “Very diverse yet closely knit organization.”

Miguel Tamayo

Miguel Tamayo

Investment Officer - Lima, Peru

Miguel identifies potential investments and performs due diligence for companies entering the expansion stage. He builds financial models, structures investments and negotiates terms with sponsors. In addition, he supervises existing investments, and proposes and implements BAS projects. Miguel was a Senior Analyst at Banco de Credito del Peru (BCP) and a Controller at Saga Falabella’s Retail & Financial Services Financial Planning division. He holds a BS in Business Administration with concentration in Finance from Universidad del Pacifico, Peru, and a Diploma in Sustainability Management from Universidad ESAN, Peru. Miguel is fluent in English and Spanish, he enjoys surfing, photography and travelling: so far he has visited 20 countries across three continents.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “Working with a great group of mission driven professionals who fully believe in the positive impact of our investments.”

Elma Tumewu

Elma Tumewu

Sr. Investment Analyst - Jakarta, Indonesia

Elma is responsible for the sourcing and screening of new investment opportunities in Indonesia, conducting due diligence and portfolio management. In addition, she designs Business Advisory Services and gives direct technical assistance in financial management. Prior to GBF, Elma worked for Quvat Capital, managing portfolio companies, supporting due diligence and investment exit initiatives. She started her career at the Boston Consulting Group Jakarta office. Elma holds a B.Eng in Industrial Engineering from Institut Teknologi Bandung, and an MBA in finance and international business from Northwestern University. She is fluent in English and Bahasa Indonesia, and enjoys traveling and playing music (she plays five different music instruments).

Favorite thing about GBF: “The collaborative working environment and the opportunity to develop local SMEs.”

Noelina Wadaki

Noelina Wadaki

Office Manager - Nairobi, Kenya

Noelina is responsible for local accounting; payroll and office operations, including managing local vendors; fostering new partnerships; the Africa office’s HR system and policies; and ensuring local compliance. In addition, she handles Business Advisory Services (BAS) metrics and social impact data for the Africa portfolio. Noelina was as an Administrator in the HR/Recruitment department at Career Connections Limited. She holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Nairobi and a BBA in Marketing from the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton. She is fluent in English, Luganda and Swahili, and enjoys travelling, doing arts and crafts and participating in social activities such as empowering the female children.

Favorite thing about GBF: “Team’s supportive nature.”

Natasha Barantseva

Natasha Barantseva

LatAm Regional Manager - Lima, Peru

Natasha is responsible for positioning GBF in the Latin America region while building partnerships, identifying and structuring new investment opportunities, and supervising GBF’s portfolio and BAS programs in Latin America. She is also in charge of the day-to-day operations of the Lima office. Natasha previously worked in international finance as a Transaction Leader for IFC’s Grassroots Business Initiative (GBF’s predecessor). She holds a BA in Economics from the International University in Moscow, an MA in Liberal Arts with focus on Latin American Studies from Dartmouth College, an MBA from Georgetown University and a Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship from INSEAD. Natasha speaks Russian, English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French. She enjoys running, playing tennis, dancing salsa and traveling.

Favorite Thing about GBF: “Finding diverse and high impact business models that have the poor meeting the inspiring entrepreneurs. Also, working with the amazing, talented international team.”

Lilian Mramba

Lilian Mramba

Africa Regional Manager - Nairobi, Kenya

Lillian leads the overall GBF strategy in Africa, including management of the investment portfolio, business advisory programs, and impact measurement activities, as well as business development and partnership building. Prior to GBF, Lilian worked as a Business Assurance Manager at Moss Adams LLP and as an Associate at African Development Bank in Tunis. Lillian received an MBA with honors from Thunderbird School of Global Management, and is a Magna Cum Laude graduate from the University of Idaho with a BS in Accounting and Finance; she is also a Certified Public Accountant. Lillian is fluent in English and Kiswahili, and conversational in Spanish and French. She enjoys running, exploring the world and most recently, adventure sports.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “We have a young, energetic, and passionate team that is trying to do something that could potentially become a game-changer in the development space.”

Rebekah Plotkin

Rebekah Plotkin

VP Finance & Administration - Washington DC

Rebekah is responsible for GBF’s HQ and global financial management and office administration, IT, BAS program financing, and stakeholder management. She has worked for the US Committee for UNDP and served as a delegate to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development-16. Rebekah holds an MBA from University of Maryland and a BA in International Studies from American University with a focus on International Development. She has lived in the US, UK and Cuba. Rebekah is fluent in English and knows an intermediate level of Spanish. In her spare time, Rebekah enjoys running, traveling abroad to experience cultures, good food, and long walks around DC.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “I like the people who work here, and I am committed to GBF’s mission to provide economic opportunities and change the way economic development is done.”

Jaime Ramirez

Jaime Ramirez

Chief Investment Officer - Washington DC

In 2008, Jaime Ramirez joined part of the founding team of the Grassroots Business Fund (GBF). Jaime is responsible for managing GBF’s investment activities globally, including the delivery of Business Advisory Services. Prior to his current role as Chief Investment Officer, he served as GBF’s Portfolio Manager for the Latin America and Asia regions.

Jaime has over 15 years of experience in finance, project management, risk analysis and operations consulting in developing countries. He has helped develop GBF’s operations, standards and initiatives. Jaime became familiar with high impact businesses as a business associate for Gone Rural in the Kingdom of Swaziland, where he supported the management team through an assignment with MBAs Without Borders.

Jaime holds a BSc in Physics from Universidad de los Andes in Colombia, an International MBA from EAE Business School and a specialization in Structured Financial Products from Institut d’Estudis Financers in Spain.

Jaime is fluent in English and Spanish and intermediate in French and Italian. Jaime has lived in Colombia, Peru, Spain, the Kingdom of Swaziland and is currently based in the United States.

Harold Rosen

Harold Rosen

Chief Executive Officer - Washington DC

In 2004, Harold Rosen founded and led IFC’s Grassroots Business Initiative, which spun off into the Grassroots Business Fund in 2008.

Prior to his work with GBI and GBF, Harold created and served as Director of the Small and Medium Enterprise department, a joint IFC/World Bank department established in March 2000. During his time at IFC, he also served as an Investment Officer in IFC’s Latin America and Africa Departments; IFC’s Manager for Financial Planning and Policy; a member of the task force starting IFC’s operations in the former Soviet Union; Manager in IFC’s Asia Department; and Director of IFC’s Central and Southern Europe Department. He has both funded and managed large investment portfolios, and he played a major role in starting IFC’s microfinance and SME activities, including creation and management of the Mekong and Southeast Europe Small Enterprise Facilities, two of the field-based, SME oriented technical assistance initiatives funded by the IFC and other donors and managed by IFC.

Harold joined the World Bank Group in 1978 through the Young Professionals Program. He holds an M.B.A. from Harvard, and Bachelors and Masters in regional science degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.

Zoya Aleem

Zoya Aleem

Global Portfolio Analyst - Washington, DC

Zoya oversees investment processes and analyzes the performance of GBF’s global portfolio; she also creates investment status reports for key stakeholders. Zoya has conducted research for development-focused ventures in Canada and the US, including a USAID-funded health project led by Futures Group. She spent a semester in Geneva studying the role of international organizations in development at the School for International Training. Zoya holds a BA in both Economics and International Development from McGill University; she also received a Coursera Certificate in Introduction to Financial Accounting offered by the University of Pennsylvania. Zoya enjoys playing soccer, running, traveling and writing.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “Being part of an optimistic and passionate set of minds and meeting people of different backgrounds.”

Julio Ayca

Julio Ayca

LatAm Portfolio Manager - Lima, Peru

Julio manages the day-to-day portfolio activities and supervises BAS performance and E&S compliance. Julio was as a Senior Investment Officer in CASEIF, a venture capital fund focused on Central America, and as a researcher at INCAE, where he wrote more than 35 academic documents published in Revista de Empresa, the Journal of Business Research, the European Case Clearing House, and Harvard Business Online. Julio holds an MBA from INCAE Business School and a BS in Industrial Engineering from Universidad De Lima. He has lived in Central America for 11 years and is fluent in Spanish and English. He enjoys running, outdoor activities and spending time with his wife and two kids.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “I like GBF’s mission and the commitment of the staff, which has achieved challenging targets during the last year.”

Vijay Chandrashekar

Vijay Chandrashekar

Investment Officer - New Delhi, India

Vijay is responsible for management advisory and recovery/growth plans and compliance of GBF’s India clients. He also sources fresh investment opportunities. Vijay has worked as a Senior Manager for Mahindra Partners and Mahindra Two Wheelers. He has also held positions at Axis Capital and Mahindra’s in-house Mergers and Acquisitions division. He holds an MBA from the Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, India and a Bachelor of Commerce from Mumbai University. Vijay is fluent in English, Hindi and Tamil. In his spare time, Vijay enjoys paragliding, sailing, running half marathons and sports.

Favorite thing about GBF: “The goal oriented approach and the empowerment to drive an initiative through with considerable freedom and ownership.”

Sahiba Chauhan

Sahiba Chauhan

Portfolio Analyst - New Delhi, India

Sahiba reviews pipeline deals, supervises current investees and monitors compliance and other metrics. In addition, she coordinates and monitors advisory services for all India portfolio companies and manages the operations of the India office. Sahiba started her career with Deloitte Consulting (Strategy & Operations), after which she worked in the development sector as a Senior Analyst with a Delhi based non-profit, providing capacity building support to partner organizations and raising capital for early stage social entrepreneurs and grants for non-profits. She graduated with distinction in Economics (Honors) from Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi and speaks English, Hindi and French. Sahiba loves food, the ocean and traveling to new places to experience new cultures and meet people.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “The opportunity to learn every day from a dynamic, driven and diverse group of individuals and companies who are using innovative business models to drive sustainable economic value to low income groups globally.”

Neil Christy

Neil Christy

Communications & Executive Assistant - Washington, DC

Neil helps coordinate executive activities and priorities. In addition, he works with the communications team on written publications, graphic design, and stakeholder relations. Neil received a bachelor’s degree in Political Economy from Georgetown University. He enjoys cooking, homebrewing mead, and traveling.

Favorite thing about GBF: “Learning from expert team members about the drivers of business success in emerging markets.”

Kathryn DeSutter

Kathryn DeSutter

Program Analyst - Washington, DC

Kathryn monitors GBF’s portfolio-level social impact. She holds a BA in International Politics & Economics from Middlebury College, where she studied Spanish and Mandarin. In her free time she enjoys hiking and camping.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “I love working with GBF’s global team.”

Olga Egorova

Olga Egorova

Investment Analyst - Lima, Peru

Olga supports the analysis of potential investments and the supervision of GBF’s Latin America portfolio. She has worked previously in macroeconomic research and data analysis, having conducted corporate strategy development and modeling of international energy markets for a major Russian oil company. She also has worked as an Investment Banking analyst. Olga holds a BS and a MA in Economics from Moscow State University, an MBA from University of Michigan and a CFA charter. She is fluent in English, Spanish and Russian. In her free time Olga enjoys going to concerts, cooking Russian food and traveling.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “Working with purpose in a super friendly and collaborative environment.”

Rose Galamgam

Rose Galamgam

Finance Officer - Washington, DC

Rose handles GBF’s Accounts Receivable and prepares cash flow planning, capital calls, month-end reports and data entry for tax filing. In addition, she coordinates with the accountants on a daily basis and handles audit work. Rose worked as a consultant for the IFC and IBRD consulting on finance projects. Prior to consulting, she served as a Finance/Budget Officer at IFC and as a Budget Analyst at the Asian Development Bank in Manila. Rose holds a post-graduate Certificate in Finance from Keller Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Manila. She is fluent in English and Tagalog, and she enjoys gardening and going out of town with family and friends.

Favorite thing about GBF: “My favorite thing in GBF is when reflows come in 100% and in a timely manner. I’m also excited about GBF’s next (larger) phase – couldn’t wait to prepare the first capital call.”

Amos Gichinga

Amos Gichinga

Sr. Investment Officer - Nairobi Kenya

Amos is responsible for business development, investment booking, BAS and support in the supervision of GBF’s Africa portfolio. For over six years, Amos worked with GroFin, managing the Kenya portfolio. Before that, Amos practiced corporate finance and transaction support services at KPMG. Amos started his career at PwC handling audits of for-profit entities. He holds an MBA from the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) in Berlin, Germany, a B.Comm from the University of Nairobi and a Diploma on Private Sector Growth from the Swedish Institute for Public Administration, Stockholm. Amos sits on the Board of Mathenge Technical Training Institute (MTTI), and is a volunteer judge on ‘The Next Big Thing,’ an initiative that supports innovations in Kenya.

Laila Kassam

Laila Kassam

Africa Office Assistant - Nairobi, Kenya

Laila helps coordinate all office operations for GBF’s Nairobi office. She has interned at Catholic Relief Services in the East Africa regional office and at the Embassy of Mexico in Nairobi, Kenya. Laila graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from the United States International University Africa. She won the Kenya Presidential Gold Award, a member of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Association, where she acquired positive life skills to make a difference for her community, country and the world. Laila is fluent in English and Kiswahili; she loves travelling, exercising, spending time with family and friends.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “The team that I work with and the growth opportunity provided by GBF”

Malavika Kumar

Malavika Kumar

Indonesia Country Manager - Jakarta, Indonesia

Malavika is responsible for leading the Indonesia investments program and portfolio. In addition, she designs and monitors BAS programs for Indonesia clients. Malavika has worked for a US-based life sciences company on equity raise, market analysis, business planning and M&A opportunities. She also worked as a corporate banker for one of the most successful commercial banks in India and later worked in M&A consulting and a PE fund of funds in Washington DC. She has lived in India, Indonesia and the US, and is fluent in English, Hindi and Bahasa Indonesia. She enjoys hiking, running, skiing and diving.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “Diversity, Emerging Markets and Impact”

Saurabh Lahoti

Saurabh Lahoti

Investment Officer - New Delhi, India

Saurabh is responsible for sourcing new investment opportunities in India, leading due diligence, managing client and partner relationships, and monitoring BAS programs. He has served as Director of Finance Services at Ennovent GmBH, Delhi, as Deputy Manager of Investments for Rajasthan Venture Capital Fund, Jaipur, as Manager for Ashland Inc., Ohio and Mumbai, and as a Software Engineer for Infosys Technologies, Bangalore. Saurabh holds an MBA from Ohio State University, a Bachelor of Technology from Banaras Hindu University and he passed the CFA® Level I & Level II. Saurabh enjoys travelling, photography and meeting new people.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “Working with passionate entrepreneurs and team, learning about different facets of business and working with a multicultural team.”

Eric Meissner

Eric Meissner

Risk & Advisory Manager - Washington, DC

Eric executes global credit and internal audit functions out of the Chief Investment and Executive Offices. He has nearly 15 years of international development experience working with multi- & bi-lateral organizations, diplomatic, defense, and development agencies, foreign governments and stakeholders in the Middle East, Central Asia, North & Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Balkans. Eric holds an MBA from the University of Oxford and a BA in International Relations & Political Science from Syracuse University. He is fluent in English. He has traded in ambitions of trekking across Antarctica, climbing Everest and discovering Cold Fusion in order to raise his baby daughter Isla.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “The people (GBF and investees).”

Ezra Musoke

Ezra Musoke

Africa Portfolio Manager & Sr. Advisor - Nairobi, Kenya

Ezra is responsible for the performance of GBF’s Africa portfolio and participates in the selection of new investments. He has a strong track record in SME investment in the East African region, investing through equity, quasi-equity structures and business development services. Ezra was a Partner at InReturn Capital and a General Manager for GroFin Tanzania. He holds a Masters in Financial Management, Post Graduate diplomas in Banking and Financial Management and a BA from Makerere University, Uganda. Ezra is Ugandan-born, raised in Kenya and currently living in Tanzania. He is fluent in English and Swahili. He is a huge sports fanatic who knows all sorts of sports statistics.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “Social impact and Africa spread.”

Dennis Otieno Onyango

Dennis Otieno Onyango

Investment Analyst - Nairobi, Kenya

Dennis supports Investment Officers with sourcing and screening new investment opportunities in Africa; conducts due diligence, including financial due diligence and modeling; assesses social returns on investments; and measures investments’ fit with GBF’s strategy. He has also worked as an Associate Consultant at Transglobal Consultants Ltd. Dennis received a Bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration and an MBA in Finance from the United States International University (USIU-A). He was awarded the Best Employee award at Consumer Insight Limited for his remarkable management of projects as well as a Certificate of achievement from the Marketing and Social Research Association. He is fluent in English and Swahili. Dennis enjoys watching documentaries, playing football and going to the theater.

Favorite thing about GBF: “Investing in businesses that have an empirical social impact at the grassroots. Working with a dynamic group of intelligent individuals across multiple continents.”

Vikram Raman

Vikram Raman

India Country Manager - New Delhi, India

Vikram oversees and leads the investment and operational processes of GBF in India, coming with a strong impact investing background. He was Vice President at Unitus Capital leading equity raise transactions in agriculture, healthcare and financial inclusion sectors. Prior, he was a Portfolio Manager at Acumen Fund, managing several investments in their India portfolio. Vikram also worked in the audit and financial consulting domains with the BDO group. He is a Chartered Accountant and holds an MBA in Finance and Strategy from the Indian School of Business and a B.Com from University of Madras. Vikram speaks Tamil, Hindi and English. He is an avid photographer who enjoys travelling, spirituality, stargazing, movies and tennis.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “A fantastic team, commitment to finding innovative structures and supporting our investees with value added services.”

Mayra Ramirez

Mayra Ramirez

Operations Manager & BAS Coordinator - Lima, Peru

Mayra is responsible for coordinating and monitoring all activities related to BAS and Environmental & Social performance, managing GBF LatAm’s portfolio data and preparing regional reports for management; she is also responsible for the LatAm office operations. Prior to GBF Mayra has worked in service companies in charge of cash management and team organization. Mayra holds a BA in Hospitality Management from San Ignacio de Loyola University, Peru, and is currently working towards a post graduate program in Finance Management at Centrum Católica, Peru. She speaks Spanish (native), English, French and Portuguese. In her spare time, Mayra enjoys traveling, baking and dancing.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “Working with such a collaborative and friendly team who is committed to GBF’s mission and shares its values.”

Beth Raymond

Beth Raymond

Operations Officer - Washington, DC

Beth is responsible for day-to-day internal operations including support to our field offices, accounts payable, assisting with IT, communications, human resources and improving GBF’s operations. Beth has been in the International Development and Financial Inclusion sectors interning at Accion International, MicroRate, and United Way. She holds a double major in Business Administration and International Development from American University. Beth is originally from the Boston area and studied abroad in a home stay in Paris. She is fluent in English and basic French. In her spare time she enjoys Yoga and running.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “Everyday brings a new adventure! I love working with such a diverse group of colleagues who give a unique view to impact investing and changing the world.”

Karan Sawhney

Karan Sawhney

Investment Analyst - New Delhi, India

Karan supervises GBF’s portfolio companies in India, conducts due diligence on potential transactions, and forecasts financial information for portfolio and potential clients. He spent two years in the Governance, Risk and Internal Controls, and Corporate Finance teams of Mazars in India, where he was involved in the Finance, Human Resources and production audits, along with valuation analysis and due diligence. Prior, he was on the Strategy and Operations team at Deloitte Consulting in India. Karan holds a Masters in Accounting and Finance from University of Exeter and a Bachelor of Commerce (with Honours) from the University of Delhi. He is fluent in English and Hindi. In his spare time he enjoys playing football, golf and traveling.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “Very diverse yet closely knit organization.”

Miguel Tamayo

Miguel Tamayo

Investment Officer - Lima, Peru

Miguel identifies potential investments and performs due diligence for companies entering the expansion stage. He builds financial models, structures investments and negotiates terms with sponsors. In addition, he supervises existing investments, and proposes and implements BAS projects. Miguel was a Senior Analyst at Banco de Credito del Peru (BCP) and a Controller at Saga Falabella’s Retail & Financial Services Financial Planning division. He holds a BS in Business Administration with concentration in Finance from Universidad del Pacifico, Peru, and a Diploma in Sustainability Management from Universidad ESAN, Peru. Miguel is fluent in English and Spanish, he enjoys surfing, photography and travelling: so far he has visited 20 countries across three continents.

Favorite aspect about working at GBF: “Working with a great group of mission driven professionals who fully believe in the positive impact of our investments.”

Elma Tumewu

Elma Tumewu

Sr. Investment Analyst - Jakarta, Indonesia

Elma is responsible for the sourcing and screening of new investment opportunities in Indonesia, conducting due diligence and portfolio management. In addition, she designs Business Advisory Services and gives direct technical assistance in financial management. Prior to GBF, Elma worked for Quvat Capital, managing portfolio companies, supporting due diligence and investment exit initiatives. She started her career at the Boston Consulting Group Jakarta office. Elma holds a B.Eng in Industrial Engineering from Institut Teknologi Bandung, and an MBA in finance and international business from Northwestern University. She is fluent in English and Bahasa Indonesia, and enjoys traveling and playing music (she plays five different music instruments).

Favorite thing about GBF: “The collaborative working environment and the opportunity to develop local SMEs.”

Noelina Wadaki

Noelina Wadaki

Office Manager - Nairobi, Kenya

Noelina is responsible for local accounting; payroll and office operations, including managing local vendors; fostering new partnerships; the Africa office’s HR system and policies; and ensuring local compliance. In addition, she handles Business Advisory Services (BAS) metrics and social impact data for the Africa portfolio. Noelina was as an Administrator in the HR/Recruitment department at Career Connections Limited. She holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Nairobi and a BBA in Marketing from the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton. She is fluent in English, Luganda and Swahili, and enjoys travelling, doing arts and crafts and participating in social activities such as empowering the female children.

Favorite thing about GBF: “Team’s supportive nature.”

What We Do

We use Business Rigor

Our mission is to grow viable businesses that generate sustainable earnings or savings for people with low incomes in Africa, Asia and Latin America

Our History

2004: GBF began as an initiative of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) which piloted grassroots business investments and field-tested capacity-building approaches.

2008: GBF split from IFC and became an independent non-profit which continued investing in – and providing advisory services to – high-impact businesses in Latin America, Asia and Africa.

2011: GBF further evolved its model by establishing a $49M for-profit private investment fund, GBI-I, for patient capital investment, and raising additional funds for the non-profit arm, GBP, to be used for business advisory services to the fund’s portfolio companies. Together the fund and non-profit make up GBF and provide powerful financial tools and business acumen to help strengthen and grow viable businesses that create lasting impact for low income people around the world. 

 

Read our 2014 Annual Report for more

Hybrid Model

A for-profit private investment fund: The capital structure of GBI-I, GBF’s for-profit private investment fund, allows it to make equity, mezzanine equity, mezzanine debt and straight debt investments. These customized investments help align GBF’s overall portfolio performance with each investee’s performance. This allows GBF  to achieve most of its exits through company cash flows, while still receiving upside returns linked to the company’s success, and addressing investees’ liquidity concerns.

A donor-funded non-profit organization: The Grassroots Business Partners, GBF’s non-profit arm, provides fund management services for GBI-I, provides business advisory services to the fund’s investees, and works to build the field of impact investing by providing insights on lesson learned, impact measurement methodologies, and its model.

 

 

The fund  and non-profit combine to deliver a blend of capital and support suitable for long-term investment in businesses that provide opportunities to low income people.

Portfolio

Small businesses play a key role in improving the lives of the poor, but there remains a shortage of enterprises in developing countries that are both ready for long-term investments and can generate high social impact.

GBF invests in High-Impact Businesses, which we define as those generating sustainable economic benefits for large numbers of the poor. They tend to have complicated business models and supply chains, but are generally underdeveloped in management, operations and planning.

Our model of providing patient capital and Business Advisory Services (BAS) as a hybrid investment helps address the issues facing these businesses by providing long term flexible capital for investment and supporting skill building to improve business growth and increase lasting social impact. 

GBF focuses on for-profit companies that have the potential to achieve significant social impact

 Business Criteria: Growth stage companies with a strong track record & competitive advantage with high quality products/services.
Finance Criteria: Investments range from $500,000 to $2.5M with expected exit within 5 to 7 years of initial investment.  

 

Mission Criteria: Companies with strong commitment to bringing sustainable social and economic impact to low income communities. 
 Impact Criteria: Companies that directly impact 500+ individuals, with potential to increase 5 to 10 times over the period of investment.

See complete Investment Criteria

As a group, our investees are profitable, improving business management, and growing fast. Challenges remain, and it is difficult to say which improvements are due to specific GBF activities. GBF’s ultimate success will only become clear when the outcomes of our investments come to fruition and we can judge the resulting social impact.

Already, there are signs that our model of risk sharing capital, BAS and high-touch engagement help our clients improve their operations, build stronger businesses and create sustained social impact, As of June 2014:

  • $30.2M capital committed
  • $8M principal & interest received
  • 7.6% current yield

 Learn more in our 2014 Impact Report and 2014 Annual Report 

Business Advisory Services (BAS)

Businesses in emerging markets face big challenges, and oftentimes, investment alone is not enough to help scale a business. Our Business Advisory Services (BAS) are core to GBF’s model and have proven valuable to investees.

All of our investees receive customized BAS support, mostly concentrating on strengthening financial management, operations, and strategy. GBF provides BAS for a limited time during the early stages of our engagement with investees. We try to support catalytic BAS projects that help our clients grow to scale, become commercially sustainable, and create social impact.  GBF designs, executes, and monitors BAS in conjunction with our investment work. Our regional offices lead the efforts to manage and deliver BAS both directly and through third-party consultants.

We have a strong, growing network of senior experts and advisers in each of our regions working closely with our investees to build internal capacity and drive high-level change programs. These advisers include agribusiness supply chain experts, financial managers, entrepreneurs, investors, and other business experts. In addition to our advisers, each region has at least one full time portfolio-level consultant working closely with investees on narrower issues such as cash flow management, environmental certification and  risk mitigation.

Learn more about BAS projects in our BAS factsheet 

BAS has helped ensure achievement of client growth potential by focusing on business fundamentals, anticipating and mitigating key risks, and taking advantage of key opportunities. In addition to showing healthy financial performance, investees have also, on average, improved along key business capability dimensions that aid investment success. As of June, 2014:

  • 85% of investees now have audited financials (a 30%  increase for investees in GBF’s portfolio over two years)
  • 64%  of investees have increased revenues 
  • 50% of investees have increased profitability 
  • 65% of investees have implemented E&S management plans

GBF is funded by an active and dedicated group of investors and donors, who have helped shape GBF’s approach. The list below includes major donors and investors since 2008.

Donors to the Non-Profit:

Investors in the Fund:

OPIC
Anonymous Investors 
Cordes Foundation 
Seth Meisel 

FMO 
Barend van der Vorm 
Tamara Dunietz & David Dunn 
Sari Miller (Trust) 

DEG (German Development Bank) 
Lisa & Charly Kleissner 
Jane Eddy 
Mwaghazi Mwachofi 

Calvert Foundation 
Sangeeta & Sudhir Maheshwari  
Hornthal Investment Partners 
Luisa & Laurence Newman 

Deutsche Bank Foundation 
Liz Wedlan & Peter Braffman
Melinda Wolfe & Ken Inadomi 
Prashant Jhawar 

Adelson Family Foundation
Judson Berkey 
Marty Kahn 
Dalip Pathak 

Stephen Brenninkmeijer 
Suzanne Biegel
Serge Kremer
Harold Rosen & Susan Wedlan 

Montpelier Foundation 
Maurizio Caio 
Leah & Jeff Kronthal 
Sir David Scholey

T&J Meyer Family Foundation 
Kantian Foundation- Robert J. Caruso
Joshua Mailman
Wolfensohn & Company LLC

Our Investees

We work towards a world where economic opportunity reaches everyone.

ASIA: 9 INVESTEES

$10.1M COMMITTED
1.5M BENEFICIARIES

Click for details on all Asia Investees

AFRICA: 4 INVESTEES

$8.3M COMMITTED
1.2M BENEFICIARIES

Click for details on all Africa Investees

LATAM: 7 INVESTEES

$10.9M COMMITTED
23,441 BENEFICIARIES

Click for details on all LatAm Investees

Hover over regions for more information

Meet our investees

Click on images for details

Our Impact

We believe in the power of business to lift people out of poverty

20

PORTFOLIO COMPANIES

29

$30.2M OF INVESTMENT CAPITAL 

48

$48.2M OF ECONOMIC VALUE 

Our Approach to measurement   Learn About Our Impact 

Insights