I want to continue with my posts on some examples of social businesses. Root Capital is an organization that provides funding to rural co-ops. It is not a micro-finance agency, nor is it a large venture funding agency. It targets what is sometimes called meso-financing or financing small businesses that are too large for micro-financing. They are well regarded and very well awarded, for good reason. What I like about this model is a couple things. They tend to fund co-ops. One of the really big problems with making any substantial change to rural farming in developing countries is that the farms tend to be small and very under-capitalized, so they can’t invest in things that could really improve their productivity or sustainability (such as drip irrigation systems). So funding (loans) from Root Capital enable a co-op do to things like that. This is part of the large trend of using new methods and tools to enable smaller groups band together and be treated like a larger company or organization. In the Acara Challenge in Mumbai slums, we saw this in practice with the Community Based Organizations (CBOs). This is a really important structure and model for micro-businesses.
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