and Margot Brandenburg
In many rural parts of Kenya, smallholder farmers have lacked financing options that would allow them to purchase a milk cow or other tools and inputs that could make their agribusinesses more profitable. The sources of credit available to them, if any, often risked pushing them further into debt, rather than helping to lift them out. In response, the founders of Juhudi Kilimo, with their backgrounds in rural agriculture in East Africa, designed a new approach. The enterprise provides financing to livestock and poultry farmers in the form of loans based on income-generating assets, which can offer lower interest rates than general loans, and accommodate staggered or longer repayment periods. As a result, farmers are able to expand their agri-business and access improved markets for greater wealth creation.
This is just one of the many “impact” enterprises springing up across the continent to provide market-based solutions. Indeed, through our daily work and the research for our new book “The Power of Impact Investing: Putting Markets to Work for Profit and Global Good” – published by Wharton Digital Press – we’ve seen and heard about enterprises that are transforming development challenges into new business opportunities.