With the funding, Root Capital will work to leverage an additional $1.6 million in funding from other social investors, including the Sweden-based World We Want Foundation, to provide timely, high-impact loans and financial management training to small businesses such as farmer cooperatives and food processors. Ultimately, improved access to capital and markets should make it possible for small businesses, which comprise as much as 90 percent of the private sector in Haiti, to rebuild and transition from a dependence on aid to integration into a more formal economy.
The January earthquake that devastated the impoverished country worsened an already tenuous situation for small and growing Haitian businesses, destroying their means of production and cutting off their access to capital.
"Our partnership with Root Capital allows us to rapidly infuse Haiti's rural areas with more than $1 million in new credit for grassroots businesses," said Charles Ries, executive vice president of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. "Plus, by supporting socially and environmentally responsible businesses with quick financing and proven financial management training, these investments then sustainably improve the livelihoods of these rural producers and create new jobs outside of Port-au-Prince."