Sign in

RSF Social Finance credit line helps Haiti- and Miami-based Kreyòl Essence seize growth and impact opportunities

Yve-Car Momperousse in Kreyòl Essence’s greenhouse.

In 2009, when Yve-Car Momperousse was working in the alumni office of her alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania, she was invited to a party where she thought she might meet a great guy. She wanted to put her best foot forward, so she asked her hairdresser to straighten her hair. Happily, Momperousse met the guy (Stéphane Jean-Baptiste, who would become her life partner).

But when she woke up the next morning, her hair was falling out.

“Like any good millennial, I called my mom and asked her, ‘What’s the name of that oil you used when I was growing…

RSF investment helps tribally owned bank serve as a change agent for underbanked communities

Tailored financing from Native American Bank helped the Tule River Tribe of California break ground on an affordable housing complex

In 2018, the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians desperately needed a grocery store. The rural Northern Minnesota tribe had a trading post on the reservation, which stocked basics like milk, chips, and toilet paper. But if someone wanted lettuce in January, they had to travel a snowy 60 miles round trip to get it.

The tribe had long dreamed of expanding its trading post into a full-service grocery store. But getting financing for projects in Indian Country — the accepted term for U.S. reservation land — is always a challenge. …

Relationship with RSF Social Finance helps All Good Products grow revenue and positive impact

Calendula is a key ingredient in the skin balm that started it all for All Good Products, a Certified B Corp. RSF Social Finance provided All Good with a line of credit and loan refinancing to put it on secure financial footing.

In 1998, Caroline Duell gathered some of the herbs that she was growing on an organic family farm in Marin County, California, and created a salve for skin ailments. The balm was good for cuts, scrapes, and burns, and she whipped up batches of it in her kitchen and packed it into Mason jars before giving it to rock climbing buddies and massage therapy clients. She called it All Good Goop.

People loved Goop so much that Duell and her boyfriend, Ryan Rich, started selling it at the farmer’s market. Demand grew. Meanwhile, in 2003 the couple moved to California’s…

Akola’s craftswomen in Uganda create beads and charms from local materials.

RSF Social Finance’s Women’s Capital Collaborative supplies the flexible funding for rapid growth that preserves the mission

In Dallas, Sara began assembling strings of beads crafted in East Africa from dried raffia, horn, and bone. The job was a rare opportunity to earn an income to support her children. After six months of making jewelry alongside women from similar backgrounds, she gathered the confidence to dust off a long-forgotten dream and went on to earn a certificate as a dental hygienist.

On the other side of the world near Jinja, Uganda, a woman named Sarah and others like her who were born into poverty were hired to make beads and charms from local materials. When they started…

Borrowers of Friendship Bridge, a microfinance institution in MCE’s portfolio in Guatemala.

With help from RSF, MCE Social Capital extends loans to ventures in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Caucasus

Tolaro Global, a cashew processing company in the African country of Benin, is exemplary for its social benefits and its solid bottom line. It offers jobs in a region where there are few. It distributes free meals to workers. And it has an on-site nursery, which allows mothers of young children to work.

But a few years ago, Tolaro needed a loan so it could invest in new equipment and buy more nuts from local farmers. …

Becoming a perpetual purpose trust will protect OGC’s mission and its financial well-being

Organically Grown Company buys, aggregates, and distributes organically grown produce throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Natalie Reitman-White’s phone at Organically Grown Company (OGC) has been ringing off the hook for weeks. The calls began right after OGC announced in early July 2018 that it had become one of the first companies in the U.S. to be owned by a purpose-driven perpetual trust. This trailblazing move means that the company can never be sold, and the trust’s only mandates are to uphold the OGC mission of advancing organic agriculture in service to healthy people and planet, and to make decisions that ensure the ongoing health of the companies the trust owns.

Most of the calls in…

Ariana Warbley is the founder and CEO of Esscents of Flowers, a Project Runway Oakland borrower.

Deb Nelson, RSF’s vice president for client and community engagement, spoke with two financial leaders who are restoring the dignity of low-income communities.

Deb Nelson: I have had the good fortune of working with both of you and would love to hear more about the work that you’re doing to build a more equitable economy. Can you tell us about what you do?

Deborah Frieze: I cofounded the Boston Impact Initiative, a place-based impact investing fund focused on closing the racial wealth divide. We work in Eastern Massachusetts, which has one of the highest rates of economic inequality in the country. As I learned from RSF, we are deploying integrated capital — a combination of equity, debt, and grants — to address this…

A nine-year relationship and diverse funding rounds support social enterprise’s rapid growth and community impact

Often described as the lungs of the earth, the South American Atlantic rainforest is a treasured biosphere that replenishes the earth’s air and houses millions of plant and animal species in its region. With this understanding at heart, David Karr and Alex Pryor founded Guayakí Yerba Mate, the now well-known yerba mate–based beverage company. In fact, the impulse of that heart has shaped both the identity of the company and its logo. …

How an unexpected journey into ranching led to a passion for holistic land management

By Sallie Calhoun

Sallie digs into the soil and roots.

As a young woman growing up in Knoxville, Tennessee, I showed passions many considered “uncharacteristic” of a Southern lady. I was a tomboy who enjoyed sports, science, and math. I wanted to be an engineer like my dad.

I left for college in Texas at 16 and then headed to Silicon Valley in its early days. As my dad returned to the family farm in South Carolina, I started my tech career, thinking that gardening was as close as I would ever come to farming.

Growing Grass

In the late ’90s, my husband, Matt, and I bought a small…

Food hub pioneer Veritable Vegetable stands out as ‘holy grail of sustainable companies’

Veritable Vegetable owners (clockwise from left) Mary Jane Evans, Karen Salinger, and Bu Nygrens

When Veritable Vegetable, the oldest distributor of organic food in the U.S., was founded in 1974, San Francisco was abuzz with radical food movements.

There were Food Conspiracy buying clubs and the People’s Food System, which brought low-cost health food to co-ops and community stores. It was a heady time. The hitch: somebody had to transport all that organic produce from farms to shelves. Veritable Vegetable was created to fill that distribution role.

A successful company springing from idealism is a familiar story — except for one thing. As Veritable Vegetable grew into a $50 million enterprise with more than…

Melinda Cheel

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store