According to the World Bank, growth in the agricultural sector is two to four times as effective at reducing poverty as in any other sector. But farming communities are in crisis. When the average farmer age is over 60 and youth unemployment tops 40%, these communities risk losing their workforce—and future innovators—to migration. This problem is particularly acute in Mexico and Central America, which have been hit particularly hard in recent years by natural disasters and political instability.
Long-term health for these communities comes from the small and growing agricultural enterprises that aggregate smallholder farmers and connect them to larger markets. These businesses supply vital inputs to farmers, introduce climate-smart agricultural practices, and invest in local infrastructure. With support, they can become engines of impact and revitalization that create meaningful work and a pathway to prosperous rural livelihoods for millions, especially young people.
Root Capital’s work in Mexico and Central America is equipping young people with the tools they need to knock down barriers and create economic prosperity in their communities through the power of small and growing businesses.
Root Capital meets critical financing needs for these businesses and as these businesses grow, they create career opportunities for the next generation. With the Rising Tide Foundation’s support, Root Capital has built the financial management capacities of more than 110 businesses since 2017. Together we are working to create spaces and opportunities for young people to engage in meaningful, productive pathways with these businesses.
This project is expanding the involvement of community youth in our financial advisory services workshops. Together, we’re showing businesses how tools like mobile-enabled data platforms can grow their businesses by leveraging the expertise of digital natives and create new jobs for young people. Not only does this ensure the long-term vitality of rural communities, but it also nurtures innovation in the next generation—a key to transforming these businesses and deepening their impact on farming families.
Root Capital believes that as the challenges of unrest and force majeure continue to buffet rural communities, we need to put agricultural entrepreneurs in the driver's seat—both as the decision makers, and the investors in change in rural communities. With the support of the Rising Tide Foundation, we’re equipping rural businesses across Mexico and Central America with the tools they need to drive that change.