Root Capital is a nonprofit social investment fund that grows rural prosperity in poor, environmentally vulnerable places in Africa and Latin America by lending capital, delivering financial training, and strengthening market connections for small and growing agricultural businesses.
Root Capital clients are associations and private businesses that help create sustainable livelihoods by aggregating the products of hundreds, or, in many cases, thousands of farmers. As of December 31st 2011, Root Capital had disbursed $368 million in credit to 367 businesses cumulatively. These loans have helped Root Capital clients improve livelihoods for more than 600,000 rural households in Africa and Latin America.
We use IRIS metrics to track the scale of our impact and report it to our donors and investors. We also use IRIS metrics in our internally strategy and planning processes.
Other Impact Measurement Tools
We complement the IRIS metrics with Social and Environmental Scorecards. For every loan, Loan Officers use the Scorecards to record the social and environmental practices and outputs of our clients, based on their field-based due diligence. The scorecards function as both a negative screen and a threshold test; the loan officer must affirmatively identify how the client business will create positive impact. We supplement the portfolio-wide approaches of IRIS metrics and Scorecards with deeper studies at selected clients to evaluate our impact on farmer livelihoods, and to begin to establish causality and attribution.