runa3

Founded in 2009, Runa is a producer and marketer of 100% Organic, Fair Trade and Non-GMO certified “ready-to-drink” teas and energy drinks. Runa’s core ingredient is Guayusa tea (pronounced “gwhy-you-sa”), a rare leaf from the Ecuadorian Amazon that contains as much caffeine as coffee and double the polyphenol antioxidants of green tea.

As a social enterprise, Runa is improving livelihoods for over 3’000 indigenous farming families in the Amazon who sustainably grow guayusa in the rainforest, and has planted in excess of 1.2 million guayusa trees.

In 2015, Runa sold 4.5 million RTD bottles and energy cans in over 10’000 stores in the US, including Whole Foods and Safeway. Runa has been featured in the National Geographic, Men’s Fitness, Fast Company and Dr. Oz.

PG Impact Investments completed its acquisition of a minority stake in US-based Runa on behalf of its clients in December 2015. The stake was acquired in a series C financing round and provides Runa with an injection of growth capital which will support the company’s expansion plan.

Impact:

  • 3’000 indigenous Amazonian farmers with improved livelihood
  • USD 300: average farmer income generated each year from guayusa by 2019 (3.8x 2015 level), representing a 20% increase on an average farmer’s income
  • 15% social premium paid to support community development projects for guayusa farmers
  • 2 million guayusa trees planted in Ecuador
  • Expand impact model to Peru

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sharedx

Founded in 2015, Shared-X is a for-profit emerging market agricultural impact company that produces high yields of specialty and organic crops sold directly at specialty food premium prices where feasible. The company applies proven techniques and know how gained through farm operating experience and management of hundreds of agricultural projects over two decades. The company shares its farming and marketing advantages with surrounding smallholder farmers, resulting in significantly higher incomes (2 to 7 times higher) that can truly lift communities out of poverty. Leveraging its broad expertise, Shared-X operates a diversified crop portfolio including organic banana, organic pineapple, specialty coffee, and aromatic cacao, and is expanding its operations from Peru to other emerging markets. Shared-X currently works with over 1,000 smallholder farmers and has a 5-year target to reach over 12,000.

 

Impact:

  • Smallholder farmers are often growing suboptimal crops, using suboptimal techniques, and losing too much of the value to intermediaries. Company provides broad range of support to farmers including provision of precision nutrients, extension services and market access.
  • Working with over 1,000 smallholder farmers. Planned support for 12,000 smallholder farmers within a 5 year period to create a 2-7x increase in livelihood depending on crop and location. 400% increase in livelihoods in a 3-year development period prior to inception.
  • Expanding impact model to other Latin American countries and to other regions.
  • Within the company, 317 field workers in formal employment earning 50% above standard minimum wages.

 

For further insights on Shared-X, we invite you to follow the link to John Denniston’s interview on “Can a Farming Startup Help End Extreme Poverty?” (Yale Insights)

goodlife2GoodLife Pharmacy is a fast-growth, highly innovative business based in East Africa. The company provides trusted pharmaceuticals to customers across incomes from convenient locations – with a total reach of 1.2 million people.

Co-founded by Dr Josh Ruxin in 2013 with the aim of “helping the nation to look and feel good one person at a time”, GoodLife focuses on providing high-quality individual customer care. Under the leadership of CEO Tony McNally, the company has quickly grown to 19 stores, with plans to expand its footprint to over 100 stores over the next five years.

A leader and innovator in the pharma segment, GoodLife is a pharmacy, provides first line primary healthcare, and is introducing access to clinicians through in-store telemedicine services. By increasing access to reliable medication at affordable prices, GoodLife Pharmacy is having a direct impact on the quality of life, and wellness of East Africa’s increasingly affluent population.

GoodLife has been endorsed by The Pharmaceuticals Society of Kenya, through their Green Cross Audit, as best pharmacy practice in the country.  This is in recognition of GoodLife’s ongoing commitment to excellence in pharmacy practice and standards. The GoodLife approach to quality pharmaceuticals, use of innovative technologies across their stores, and customer-centric approach is revolutionising how healthcare is delivered in East Africa.

GoodLife plans to expand to over 100 stores by 2021, reaching over 5.5 million consumers, and creating over 700 jobs, of which approximately 400 will be held by pharmaceutical professionals.

 

Impact:

  • Gap: access to affordable pharmaceuticals is a key challenge in East Africa, where about a third of commercialized drugs are estimated to be counterfeits
  • Theory of Change: GoodLife addresses the following:
    • Affordability: c. 30% cheaper than competition due to efficient supply chain
    • Quality: only purchases from certified manufacturers and wholesalers; only employs qualified pharmacists; strong focus on customer care
    • Access: growing convenience store network to increase reach among emerging consumers (USD 2-10 income per day)
  • GoodLife aims to reach 1 million emerging consumers by 2021
LOLC Mood Picture

Despite over two decades of positive economic growth following a rapid transition from a centrally planned to a free market economy, over 8 million of Cambodia’s population of 15 million remains “poor” to “near poor”. Approximately 90% of the poor live in rural regions where access to basic services is limited.  Additionally, 79% of Cambodia’s population does not have access to clean water and 58% does not have access to suitable sanitation services.

In response to this challenge, LOLC Cambodia has made it its mission to improve the lives of rural low income Cambodians by offering a diverse suite of financial and non-financial products and services that help them to become more resilient against external income shocks. As an example, LOLC has approximately USD 4 million portfolio of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) loans that have enabled 6’000 clients to build a latrine. As of the second quarter 2017, the institution serves an active borrower base of over 200’000 low income Cambodians.  LOLC Cambodia’s track record of helping these individuals out of poverty has been encouraging; the MFI reports that on average 7% of its clients moved out of the 150% National Poverty Line, “very poor” and “poor” category, in recent years.

LOLC Cambodia has delivered positive, resilient financial performance to date, growing its loan book to over USD 240 million while maintaining consistently high portfolio quality and healthy profitability. The institution’s financial results are a testament to prudent management and rigorous credit underwriting methodology.

Impact:

  • Give greater financial stability to disadvantages people, helping them to basic services such as healthcare, education, …
  • LOLC has reported encouraging out-of-poverty data, as 10% of LOLC clients have moved out of the “very poor” category and 7% moved out of the “poor category” from 2012 to 2013.

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cheyne

Access to decent and affordable housing has become a challenge in several countries across the globe, including the world’s leading economies like the United Kingdom, where approximately 1.5 million households are on waiting lists for affordable homes. This supply shortage is the result of rents and prices increasing faster than salaries and significant reduction in government funding for affordable housing. While the most affected have been the most vulnerable (e.g. the elderly, those at homelessness risk and people in need of supported living accommodation) even individuals in full-time employment but with low income are increasingly unable to meet rent payment obligations.PG Impact Investments will support the creation of thousands of affordable homes in the UK through an investment in Cheyne Social Property Impact Fund (“SoPro”). Thanks to its innovative strategy, SoPro is the first fund completely dedicated to affordable housing targeting commercial returns. The Fund will act as a platform for affordable housing investing, providing regular income cash flows, inflation hedge and a variety of exit options.SoPro’s social impact mission has been underpinned by the support of long-established and recognized social sector organizations like Big Society Capital and New Philanthropy Capital.

PG Impact Investments closed the deal with SoPro on behalf of its clients in May 2016. With its deliberate support for a first time fund, PG Impact Investments intends to foster the development of innovative ways to finance affordable housing that can meet institutional investors’ demand.

Impact:

  • Financing of the construction of 2’800 affordable housing units
  • Fight against the social housing gap with a current waiting list of 1.5 million households
  • Help preventing the most vulnerable from losing their homes
  • Help limiting increasing homelessness by providing affordable housing
  • Help compensating the reduction in government funding for affordable housing