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Meet Our Clients
The majority of businesses that GBF targets are mature, rather than early stage. They have several years of track record and a demonstrable competitive advantage. Our clients have a strong commitment to bringing measurable and sustainable social and economic impact in low income communities.
These “High Impact Businesses” provide sustainable economic opportunities to millions of people, often sourcing from smallholder farmers or artisans, or otherwise providing economics value to millions producers or consumers in low income communities. Their work empowers the poor as independent entrepreneurs and consumers of affordable goods and services.
Below is a list of current clients in GBF's fund. Prior to the launch of the fund, GBF invested in over 32 High Impact Businesses. These companies directly impacted nearly 1,000,000 people in low income communities and delivered up to $50,000,000 in economic value
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BrazAfric Enterprises (BEL) imports and distributes agricultural and energy conservation equipment from Brazil to East Africa. BEL is driven by the desire to link East African markets with the best available high quality energy conservation equipment. In addition to energy conservation, the Company strives to supply smallholder farmers with more reliable, efficient equipment that lowers the smallholder farmers’ operating costs and increases agricultural yield. The Company has operations in five East African countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Mozambique.
Corredor Agro (CAL)
Corredor Agro (CAL) is an agribusiness company operating in Mozambique, whose primary business objective is to add value in the agricultural supply chain by linking small scale farmers to better inputs, agricultural extension services, credit, logistics and markets. The company also aims to make agricultural produce from the region more competitive and more accessible to corporate buyers further down the value chain. CAL is currently growing and procuring the following crops: maize, soya beans, sesame seeds, pulses and cassava. In 2012, GBF committed a mezzanine loan to be used to support the long-term working capital and capital equipment financing requirement.
Established in 1992 to develop the potential of rural women in Swaziland, Gone Rural facilitates the production of unique handicrafts using traditional Swazi skills and locally available, sustainable, natural materials. It maintains educational and social initiatives that focus on increasing the life expectancy of women, the primary victims of HIV/AIDS in the region. Through its activities, Gone Rural not only creates employment for over 700 rural Swazi women, but also provides substantial social benefit to the communities where it works.
Movirtu is the creator of a patent-pending mobile technology called MXShare, which facilitates the use of a mobile handset for multiple users. Their technology is unique in that it allows users to not only make calls but also reliably send and receive voice and text messages, and it also provides a more optimal method for users to gain access to mobile banking. GBF is providing Movirtu with business advisory services and the funds to meet its short-term working capital requirements through the launch of its commercial operations.
KZ Noir purchases raw cherries & semiprocessed parchment from smallholder coffee farmers and cooperatives for processing. Processed coffee is then exported to international buyers. The company buys through its three subsidiaries; Socor, Caferwa and Karengera. This increases the probability of business success for washing stations that would otherwise have no access to such value-add expertise, and ultimately provides higher economic opportunities to the 6,900 farmers they source from. GBF’s support to KZ Noir is enabling the company to purchase cherries and parchment for export, and fund coffee processing expenses to meet purchase orders.
Pwani Feeds, based in Kenya, processes and sells animal feeds to poultry farmers, purchases eggs produced by the farmers, and sells the eggs to retailers using a wholesale distribution system. Pwani Feeds also offers post-sales support and assistance with animal health, strengthening its partnership with the farmers and insuring its supply of eggs. GBF provided investment capital to support long-term working capital needs and capital expenditures. GBF is also providing business advisory services to improve the business’s financial management, structure the corporate governance activities, develop the growth and expansion strategy, and enhance the farmer education and marketing efforts.
Industree, a Bengaluru based company, is a producer and retailer of fashion, home decor, furniture, and gift products to the urban middle class in India through seven exclusive outlets, six franchises and 85 shops-in-shops. The company's "Mother Earth" branded products of natural fiber are partially sourced from rural artisans, whose "Self-Help Groups" supply nearly 45% of Industree's products. Industree actively works with such groups, supporting them through access to working capital, product design and training, buy back support, and market access assistance. GBF has recently invested a second round of long term capital to meet Industree's working capital need and capital expenditure requirements for its growing operations.
Jaipur Rugs Company is a rug manufacturer that has now grown to be one of the best known and respected social enterprises working with over 10,000 weavers through a decentralized rug production system. Through the rug manufacturing and partner non-profit entity, Jaipur Rugs Foundation, Jaipur Rugs is able to provide training, health care and education and also create economic opportunities to the unemployed and underemployed in rural areas of North India. GBF’s capacity building program and investment capital has focused on making the overall operations more efficient so that it can expand, increase its social impact and reach sustainability and scale.
Servals Automation Private Limited (“Servals”)
Servals is energy efficient cooking solution company focused on providing efficient and affordable burners and stoves to low-income consumers. In the past year, Servals has sold over 1 million units of their fuel efficient Venus burner. GBF is providing Servals with a loan to expand its geographic presence in the kerosene burner market, set up a distribution channel, and launch their new Top-Lit Updraft biomass stove. In addition, GBF has assisted in the creation of an advisory board which provides the management team strategic guidance and conducting R&D to improve and add to their portfolio of products and expand to new markets.
Shree Kamdhenu Electronics Private Limited (SKEPL)
SKEPL, based in India, provides technological solutions for better milk collection to village level cooperatives. Through its products, SKEPL generates economic impact for farmers by increasing the share of dairy production revenue that they receive, reduces the risk of lost income from wasted milk, and increases transparency into the entire process for farmers. Through its partnership with GBF, SKEPL will receive targeted business advisory services and investment capital to fund sales to cooperatives that cannot afford SKEPL products.
RB is an Indian apparel and accessory design and manufacturing firm that has been exporting products to international markets since 1999. Its competitive edge lies in the artisanal specialty of Kolkata region that lends itself to high skill based hand woven and knitted work. RB works with a network of artisans across the West Bengal region of India. Additionally, the company operates a foundation to combat child labor in the artisanal communities in rural India. Through GBF's investment, RB will increase its domestic market focus. This strategy allows RB to mitigate the risk of the seasonal export business and provide employment to its artisanal workforce around the year.
TARA Machines is a value-creating social enterprise that develops and drives green technology-based business solutions for aspiring entrepreneurs. The company offers a wide variety of green building technologies for entrepreneurs to purchase and set up for their rural construction businesses. TARA Machines offers an alternative source of income to the traditional agricultural lines of work available in rural communities. TARA Machines estimates that in doing business with 200 entrepreneurs in multiple states, it has given 3000 individuals access to training and new sources of income. GBF’s investment has been used for capital expense needs of new branch offices and some R&D to further refine the existing product offering, improve its distribution channels and to strengthen human capacity and governance of the team.
Baba Rafi is a micro-franchise food retailer that has grown to be one of Indonesia's strongest local food brands. The company has a network of 1,000 franchise and self-owned food stalls throughout several cities. Currently employing over 2,000 food stall operators, the company is also incubating entrepreneurs, providing financing opportunities and training to motivated operators. Building off success in Indonesia, the company is expanding their brand into international markets.
Corporación Agrícola Viñasol S.A. (CAVSAC)
Corporación Agricola Viñasol S.A. (CAVSAC) purchases top quality agricultural products from small-scale farmers in Peru. CAVSAC provides its farmers with assistance from agronomists throughout the harvest season and partners with an NGO to advance production techniques. GBF provided a long term loan to fund improvements in the production plant, and purchase processing equipment; and business advisory services to increase asparagus production, and strengthen the company.
LATCO International promotes the production of organic and conventional sesame seeds in the extremely impoverished areas of eastern Bolivia. LATCO currently exports sesame seeds to 18 clients in nine countries, and is the leading sesame exporter in Bolivia, sourcing sesame from over 1,700 smallholder farmers and touching the lives of over 8,000 people. Due to the high quality of its product, it negotiates the highest sales price among its peers and transfers the price gains to its farmers. GBF invested $700,000 in convertible debt to finance the acquisition of sesame hulling equipment and trucks to transport the product to the ports of Chile. GBF's business advisory support focused on the expansion of the company's supplier development program to reach new farmers, expand the land under cultivation, and to improve the farmers' productivity. Our BAS also helped the company to obtain ISO 9001-2008 certification of quality management systems.
Operating since 2011, Natural Habitats sources certified organic palm oil products from Ecuadorian small-holder farmers, processes palm oil in a crushing mill, refines and manufactures it at a third party facility, and sells it to natural food distribution customers in the EU (Germany and the Netherlands), and the US. Natural Habitats sources, adds value, and trades organic agro-products through a vertically integrated supply chain. GBF's investment is supporting the acquisition of the extracting facility in Ecuador, and our BAS will focus on expanding the company's supplier development program in Ecuador, as well as on developing the smallholder farmer supply chain in West Africa.
NOVICA is a crafts company that connects over 17,000 artisans in developing nations with global consumer markets. Their designers work with the artisans to help them improve product quality, and give advice on producing items that will appeal to the international market while staying true to local traditions. The company has partnered with international organizations such as National Geographic and Kiva in order to increase visibility and sales. NOVICA's website offers a wide variety of products including unique gifts, handmade jewelry, home decor, ethical fashion, vases, wall masks, and chess sets. GBF has provided NOVICA with investment capital to open a regional office in Guatemala, and strengthen operations in other regional offices. GBF is also providing business advisory services to strengthen the company's cost management, and to improve the artisans' techniques and product quality.
Off Bound Adventures (OBA)
Off Bound Adventures is a Colombian Outdoor Education Company, which organizes and executes educational trips that target 6 to 17 year old students, mainly from high income Colombian schools. OBA offers a variety of educational programs to the schools and tailors the activities to their pedagogical objectives. The company has developed a proprietary educational model that complements school education with important skills and experiences for students. OBA holds the trips in rural, non-urban locations, initially in Colombia, and increasingly in other developing countries. As part of its strategy, OBA has positive impact at these trip locations, integrating small family businesses (vendors) in its service supply chain. Vendors provide lodging, food, and different activities to students. OBA helps the vendors to improve their service standards, capabilities and business skills. GBF is providing OBA with a long term investment to finance the growth of its operation in Colombia and the expansion to the US. GBF's BAS will support the development of the vendor selection and training methodology.
Procesadora S.A.C. (PP)
PP is a Peruvian exporter of fresh and processed fruits, vegetables, and legumes to the U.S. and Europe, which sources produce from small farmers. It is a family owned business that has worked with farming families on the coast of Peru since 1986. PP was started with the objective to help poor farmers in Peru, and the company works to diversify crops and introduce higher margin crops to continue improving the incomes and livelihoods of farmers. GBF provided a long term convertible loan for infrastructure improvements and working capital, and supported the company with business advisory services to improve the company's corporate governance (family protocal, board of directors), and to strengthen the senior management team. GBF is also co-financing a consultancy to improve the efficiency of water usage at the production plant.
Villa Andina is a Peruvian Company which sells dehydrated organic aguaymanto (golden berry) and mango in local and export markets, which it buys from small-scale farmers. Villa Andina works with over 300 families of small scale farmers in the Cajamarca region in the North of Peru, providing technical assistance in organic and sustainable crop management, and seeds to the farmers. In 2012, GBF invested in Villa Andina to help increase the company’s production capacity. Additionally, GBF is providing business advisory services in several core areas, including finance, operations and governance.