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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.

WHAT’S NEW:

  • Micro Housing Finance Corporation (MHFC) has been nominated by the Financial Times for their ‘FT ArcelorMittal Boldness in Business’ award in Entrepreneurship category. The nominees are selected by senior journalists and bureau chiefs of FT from around the world and winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on March 19th. MHFC is a leading Indian affordable housing company in the portfolio of the India Financial Inclusion Fund (IFIF), an $89 million impact equity fund under management of Grassroots’ partner, Caspian Advisors.  To read a recent article on MHFC please click here.
  • Grassroots will be attending the SPTF’s social investor group meeting that will take place in Luxembourg on March 11-12, hosted by the EIB.  If you are also attending this meeting please contact Anna Kanze (akanze@grassrootscap.com) to coordinate networking opportunities at the event.
  • Grassroots has supported the development of Invest with Values, The Investor’s Gateway to Positive Change. Invest with Values, previously the Money and Impact Investing Directory, is a free educational website that features a directory of over 300 resources & organizations and a discussion forum focused on Local Banking, Community Investing, Sustainable & Responsible Investing and Impact Investing.  Their newly launched website is: InvestWithValues.com
  • A new article, “Do Impact Investors Expect Too Much?”, written by Mal Warwick, Paul DiLeo and Paul Polak has been published on Stanford Social Innovation Review Online. The article discusses how and why microfinance, dedicated to ending poverty, has fallen short of that goal and what can be done to keep microfinance and other impact investments on track towards their social objectives.  Please find the entire article here:http://www.ssireview.org/blog/entry/do_impact_investors_expect_too_much.
  • Grassroots would like to announce our official Commitment to the 100 Million Campaign. We are pleased to join this movement of institutions and organizations that are actively and consciously working towards the goal of helping 100 million families lift themselves out of extreme poverty.  We welcome you to view our Commitment Summary, read our Commitment letter, as well as the Campaign’s Press Release featuring Grassroots.
  • Grassroots Founder Paul DiLeo received a B Corp “Champions Award” at the B Corp Champions retreat in Burlington VT on October 8, 2014. This award is given to members of the B Corps community who are inspiring others, taking initiative, and dedicating energy to support the B Corp movement.  Andrew Kassoy, co-founder of B Corp noted that, “It’s not just that you had your funds GIIRS rated, but that you’ve used that to engage the MFI equity investor community in an important conversation about impact, that you’ve made your management company a B Corp, that you’ve been at this consistently for a long time.”  Grassroots became a registered B Corp in 2009 and became the first Delaware Public Benefit Corporation in 2013.
  • 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) for consideration at the December Board meeting. Grassroots is beginning a series of such governance consultations as part of its “Impact First Investment” initiative, described below.
  • Paul DiLeo presented lessons based on an assessment of governance of AfriCap at the November 10-11 meeting of the Financial Inclusion Equity Council (FIEC, formerly Council of Microfinance Equity Funds, CMEF) in Zurich. The final report will be available early 2005. 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.
  • 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.