|Grassroots Capital Management (GCM) is an impact investment manager based in the US. Grassroots’ mission is to help eliminate poverty and strengthen communities through investments in small and micro businesses, affordable housing, sustainable agriculture and affordable education, in both developing countries and the US. Together with its India based partner, Caspian Advisors, GCM and its predecessors have launched five Microfinance funds since 2003. Currently GCM and Caspian co-manage four Microfinance funds; Fund Details.
Caspian and Grassroots work closely together on project development and management, sharing staff and resources between their New York, Massachusetts, Hyderabad and Delhi offices. For more information about Caspian please visit Caspian’s web site.
Amit Brar and Paul DiLeo of Grassroots undertook a mission to an East African MFI in early October to develop recommendations on how to enhance the role of the Board in guidance and oversight of Social Performance (SP). Grassroots is beginning a series of such governance consultations as part of its “Impact First Investment” initiative, described below.
- Paul DiLeo will participate in a panel discussion of Microfinance Institution Equity: Who is buying? Who is selling? at the FOROMIC in Guayaquil, Ecuador November 4-6. His comments will focus on how investors can best support mission-oriented institutions from initial investment through exit.
- Grassroots has been selected by B Corp as one of the ‘Best for the World’ businesses earning a score in the top 10% of all Certified B Corporations for its worker impact, signifying leadership in a community of businesses creating the most overall positive impact. The Best for the World microsite highlights 2014 honorees. Grassroots’ B Corp Profile is available here. Paul DiLeo will attend the B Corp Champions Retreat Oct 7-9 in Burlington, Vermont and will be one of the moderators of a discussion of Wendell Berry’s lecture, “It All Turns on Affection”.
- Grassroots has been engaged to undertake an assessment of the governance practices and experience of AfriCap. Launched in 2001, AfriCap was one of the first class of microfinance equity funds to build on the experience of Profund (1995-2005) and was the first microfinance investment fund focused exclusively on, and based in, Africa. Paul DiLeo will present lessons based on the assessment at the November 10-11 meeting of the Financial Inclusion Equity Council (FIEC, formerly Council of Microfinance Equity Funds, CMEF) in Zurich.
- Vishwanath Prasad, Managing Director of Caspian Impact Investment Adviser, shares his thoughts on Prime Minister Modi’s ambitious plan to make India 100% financially inclusive in a recent interview with India’s leading business magazine, see article.
- Grassroots Capital Management announces the launch of a new global initiative, Grassroots Impact First Investments (GIFI). GIFI will provide equity and quasi equity to financially sustainable MFIs that prioritize their social mission and social value added programs. Initially focused on Latin America and Asia, the fund will also target investments in other geographies. This will be the sixth microfinance fund by Grassroots promoters, Paul DiLeo and Vishwanath Prasad. “GIFI is formed for the purpose of making “Impact First” investments in MFIs globally with a clear social priority and exemplary social performance. The fund management will also collaborate in an ongoing complementary effort to foster the pool of “Impact First” Investors through a medium-term program of investor outreach and education.” said Mr. DiLeo.
- Grassroots has posted a summary of the recommendations for increasing access to capital and business development services for U.S. Micro and “Main Street” businesses. The set of recommendations was presented on May 7 at the Association for Enterprise Opportunity’s Annual Meeting in New Orleans. The materials are currently being considered by the Micro Capital Task Force to inform their discussions with industry stakeholders and the U.S. Treasury about how to best address the issue of access to capital in the U.S.