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
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Globally over two billion people have scarce access to basic and reliable electricity, reflecting over 400 million households who primarily live in rural areas in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Latin America. These households’ typical current sources of energy (kerosene, wood and coal) are not only expensive but lead to harmful effects on health and the environment.

In response to this challenge, three entrepreneurs founded Greenlight Planet in 2008 to design, manufacture and sell a range of high-quality, affordable, solar light products. Greenlight Planet’s products provide long-lasting electricity, leading to additional productivity for small businesses and study hours for students. Select products do not just provide light, but are also equipped with USB charging capabilities, allowing consumers to avoid the inconvenience and expense of charging stations. Additionally, all products include a comprehensive customer service warranty plan.

PG Impact Investments’ debt investment will support Greenlight Planet’s continued geographic expansion and distribution of solar energy products to low income, rural consumers living off-grid around the developing world.

Impact:

  • successfully reached over 6 million off-grid households across 62 countries
  • provide long-lasting electricity, leading to additional productivity for small businesses and study hours for students
  • products that provide light and have USB charging capabilities allowing consumers to avoid the inconvenience and expense of charging stations
  • distribution of solar energy products to low income, rural consumers living off-grid around the developing world

Tugende is a Kampala-based firm that provides lease-to-own financing, helping its clients to purchase income-generating assets. The company’s core product funds motorbike taxi (“boda-boda”) purchases for drivers who would normally rent the vehicles that they ride.

Lack of transportation has been highlighted by the United Nations as one of Uganda’s greatest obstacles for economic development, while high unemployment and exclusion from financial services compounds a lack of opportunity for the majority of low-income individuals. Tugende works to provide financial stability and to increase access to wealth through its unique financial products in the transportation sector, including insurance, safety equipment and training as part of its financing packages.

To date, the company’s financing products have proven highly effective: the average customer doubles their daily earnings as they no longer have to pay expensive daily rents to landlords. This allows customers to invest their own higher earnings to buy land, property, livestock, healthcare and education.

Tugende differentiates itself via high-touch customer service, technology-driven efficiency, affordability and delivery speed. Since inception in 2012, the company has leased out over USD 17.0 million worth of motorcycles and has created more than 7’000 new owners. With its recent expansion into Kenya, Tugende aims to be the leading provider of small business leasing services in East Africa.

Impact

  • Increase access to affordable financial products for low-income individuals in East Africa through transparent financial products, including life and medical insurance
  • Increase earning potential and net worth of customers through providing access to asset ownership and entrepreneurship

Founded in 2012, Thirumeni Finance Private Limited (“Varthana”) is a leading non-bank financing company that lends specifically to affordable private schools. The firm’s mission is to improve access to quality education in low-income communities in India.

Varthana’s client schools cater specifically to the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum, with fees in the range of USD 5-40 per month. These schools are typically led by experienced teachers with credibility in their communities, funding the launch of the school using their personal finances. Financing from Varthana allows them to expand their infrastructure, invest in teacher training and introduce new learning methods into their classrooms.

To date, Varthana’s loans have assisted schools teaching 3.0 million students and employing over 100’00 teachers.  PGII’s debt investment will support the company’s continued geographic expansion.

Impact

  • Varthana partners with owners of affordable private schools to substantially increase access to quality education in low-income communities in India.
  • To increase the capacity and resources at high-quality affordable schools, Varthana provides financing solutions tailored specifically for these institutions – this allows the Varthana-financed schools to invest in technology, new classrooms and even transport systems to help students reach their schools.
  • The growth of Varthana-financed schools increases competitive pressure in the wider private school market, driving lower quality institutions to improve the quality of education.
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International Housing Solutions II (IHS II) is a specialist real estate fund dedicated to affordable housing for lower-middle income families in South Africa.
The manager, International Housing Solutions, is a pioneer in affordable housing and created 27’000 affordable housing units with its debut fund, the first dedicated affordable housing fund in South Africa.

Social challenges:

Globally, 330 million families live in crowded, inadequate, or unsafe housing, or are financially stretched by housing costs. 40% of Africa’s 1 billion people already live in towns and rapid urbanization is increasing the demand for housing. People living in slums and substandard housing are more often victims of crime and poor health.

IHS’s investments primarily serve the approximately 5 million South African households (26% of the total population) whose income is too high to qualify for public housing programs yet too low to afford most market-rate housing.

Target impact:

  • Construction of affordable family homes, for sale or for rent. Many residents have moved from slums and tenements and now benefit from proximity to services and employment
  • Introduction of high-end real estate players to the affordable housing sector, creating a viable ecosystem for the sector and attracting additional funding
  • Concession-funded green tech initiatives that promote the use of environmentally responsible technology at no additional cost to residents