Grassroots Business Fund Closes $47 Million Fund for Impact Investing in Asia, Africa, and Latin America
December 4th, 2012 (Washington, DC) –The Grassroots Business Fund (GBF) announces today that is has successfully closed a $47,000,000 fund, with support from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the German Development Bank, the Netherlands Development Finance Company and more than two dozen additional governments, foundations and private individuals.
GBF will target businesses in emerging markets that drive economic development and improve local standards of living.
In addition to providing investment capital through the fund, GBF's unique hybrid model allows the non-profit arm to provide business advisory support to clients in the fund. GBF’s staff, expert consultants, and local service providers focus on enhancing financial and strategic planning, corporate governance, human resource management, marketing, supply chain management, and management information systems (MIS). The non-profit raised an additional $12,000,000 from donors to support such activities.
Harold Rosen, GBF’s founder and CEO, said, “We’re excited to continue our work through an innovative hybrid model that will enable us to bring High Impact Businesses to sustainability and scale. We believe GBF’s investment rigor and experience will greatly benefit our clients, and over time this model can strengthen the impact investing field more broadly.”
Early results have shown that this blended approach can successfully help businesses get bigger and stronger, preparing them to engage with the private sector and access long-term commercial financing.
Elizabeth Littlefield, President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, said, “GBF is a significant player in impact investing. Their work is helping create sustainable social and economic impact, while also offering a financial return on investment. OPIC sees great promise in impact investing and is committed to supporting its development.”
GBF is building on an eight-year track record. Prior to the launch of the fund, GBF invested in over 32 High Impact Businesses. These companies directly impacted nearly 1,000,000 people living at the Base of the Economic Pyramid and delivered up to $50,000,000 in economic value. In 2004, it began as an initiative of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) — a member of the World Bank Group — and in 2008, GBF became an independent organization with support from several institutions and angel investors.
To view the full list of supporters, visit http://www.gbfund.org/Supporters. For more information about GBF, download the 2012 Annual Report, or to speak with an expert, contact [email protected] or call 202-518-6865.