William Foote is founder and CEO of Root Capital and an Ashoka Global Fellow.
Root Capital is best in class in the new world of social investment. It has provided more than $120 million in credit to 235 grassroots enterprises in 30 countries in Latin America and Africa with a 99% repayment rate from our borrowers and a 100% repayment rate to investors. One of their trademark investment strategies is to finance agricultural cooperatives. They work closely with Starbucks and coffee cooperatives around the world. “We help harness the existing entrepreneurial energy in isolated rural communities, enabling conservation and encouraging socially responsible business practices.”
William Foote is founder and CEO of Root Capital. He began his career as a financial analyst in the Latin American Corporate Finance group at Lehman Brothers, and as a journalist in Mexico and Argentina. He was named an Ashoka Global Fellow in 2007, a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2008, and a member of the Young Presidentsâ€™ Organization (YPO) in 2009. Mr. Foote is on the executive committee of the Aspen Instituteâ€™s Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) and is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He was a founding board member of the Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST) and currently serves on the boards of the Open Learning Exchange (OLE) and E&Co. Mr. Foote holds a B.A. from Yale University and a M.Sc. in development economics and economic history from the London School of Economics.
Root Capital CEO William Foote states that the idea of "social investment" should encompass more than simply distributing financial capital to developing businesses. "Rural businesses often lack the technical skills to grow," he notes, arguing that on-site training in basic accounting practices can lead to dramatically improved returns on investment.