investors fund (exit in process)
Grassroots Business Investors Fund I L.P (GBI-I) was set up in 2011 as GBF’s first for-profit financing vehicle. The aim was to have the blended structure enable GBF’s mandate: reaching impactful but challenging SMEs, with mezzanine-type financing managed by GBP, which would in turn also support the investees with technical assistance for the early year funds.
GBF raised $41 million in three classes of investment in GBI-I and $8 million in grant funding for technical assistance.
PORTFOLIO COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS
Villa Andina is a Peruvian company that buys quinoa and other Andean grains from smallholder farmer associations, processes the products in its Lima plant and sells them in international markets. In 2011, GBF partnered with Villa Andina to help the company scale and strengthen operations through the acquisition of land, expansion of a new plant, and increase of working capital.
GBF focused its support on developing Villa Andina’s financial management, strengthening its corporate governance, improving operations, and implementing strategic planning.
By sourcing agricultural products from small-scale farmers, Villa Andina connects families to more lucrative markets and trains producers to grow higher value goods.
Wamu is a family-owned business in Nairobi that exports french beans, sugar snaps and snow peas, as well as “niche” products such as passion fruits and chilies to the European market. Wamu has a strong outgrower management and works with smallholder farmers, as well as employing packhouse workers who are primarily women.
GBF’s investment supporting working capital and capex needs in the company. GBF’s advisory services improved financial management and packhouse operations.
Wamu sources hundreds of smallholder farmers and employs direct workers, most of whom are women. The company has provided up to $300,000 of income annually to its farmers. The company has also certified its farmers under Good Agricultural Practice (Global GAP) which enables the farmers to export high-value products to Europe.
Jaipur Rugs designs, markets and supervises the production of artisanal rugs. The company maintains impactful relationships with its artisans, more than half of whom are lower-income rural women. Also, It provides inputs and equipment, and in some cases even provides its weavers with loans to buy looms.
GBF’s worked with Jaipur Rugs to help the company become more efficient, manage inventory, expand new markets, and be prepared for new capital investment.
Jaipur Rugs empowers low-income artisans to become entrepreneurs and employs thousands of poor people. Additionally, the company has a foundation that provides training, education and health benefits to the artisans and their families.