This week we had the chance to connect with Faina Rozental, an Impact Associate at Root Capital, a non-profit social investment fund active in Africa and Latin America. Faina shared her thoughts about her role at Root Capital and the impact of innovation in her sector, and will be one of the speakers on Net Impact Boston’s Career Summit Tech and Innovation in Global Development Panel. This year’s Career Summit will take place Friday, February 26, so hear from Faina Rozental and our other incredible speakers, be sure to reserve your tickets today!
What is the most interesting/challenging aspect of your work?
Root Capital supports agricultural businesses in Latin America and Africa with financing and financial management training to enable them to grow sustainably and enhance their positive impacts on farmers, communities and regions. As a member of the impact assessment team, being based in Cambridge headquarters presents an interesting challenge. My role is to create tools and resources in Cambridge that our colleagues in Latin America and Africa use for gathering social and environmental information about our clients. I feel fortunate to work with client-facing colleagues in Latin America and Africa who are committed to the impact mission and collaborative in sharing their learning and providing productive feedback.
What is the best career advice you have received?
Make yourself a go-to resource at your organization – find something, whether it’s a process or subject area, that you’re excited about and find a way to add value. Innovation plays a key role in achieving social and environmental impact.
How has innovation helped your organization and where do you see the next few years taking us?
At Root Capital, we strive to find ways to create value for our clients and the rest of the agricultural value chain. As a social lender, one way we do this is by innovating on our loan product offering. As an example, we responded to the devastating coffee leaf rust outbreak that swept through Latin America by leveraging existing relationships with public and private partners to launch the Coffee Farmer Resilience Initiative (CFRI) in 2013. As part of the CFRI, we provide credit to help producers finance the upfront cost of renovating and rehabilitating diseased coffee plants. In addition to addressing credit needs, CFRI activities have included income diversification training, technical assistance and mobile technology services. On the ICT front, we’re working to help our clients to better gather, analyze and disseminate information to inform business decisions and manage relationships with farmers. Our long-term vision is that agricultural businesses across Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa will have access to affordable, relevant ICT tools and technologies that strengthen operations at the enterprise level and ultimately improve livelihoods for smallholder farmers.
Reserve your tickets to the 2016 Career Summit, here!