Borrower Spotlight: Small Businesses Supported by Advance Global Capital
July 21, 2023
Since 2017, our work with Advance Global Capital (AGC) has enabled us to channel capital to local financial intermediaries that provide capital for small businesses in underserved communities around the world so they can access the credit they need to build their business.
Introduction to Advance Global Capital
Advance Global Capital is a global impact investment management company that believes the best way to reduce poverty is through sustained inclusive economic growth. AGC’s investments deliver tailored financing to local partners, who in turn provide flexible working capital to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), so they can scale and positively impact their local economies. Since launching in 2012, AGC has supported over 34,000 SMEs and created or maintained over 257,000 jobs. The company’s work spans across 66 countries and almost 40% of the SMEs their partners finance are women-led.
AGC’s work aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including gender equality, decent work and economic growth, industry innovation and infrastructure, and reduced inequalities.
Below are four profiles of SMEs supported by Advance Global Capital, highlighting the work the fund has had on the communities they serve.
Supporting gender equity and sustainable farming in Colombia
Vive Agro is an agricultural operations company in Colombia that provides vegetables for at-home recipe kits and wholesale prepared ingredients for kitchens and several international restaurant chains.
In 2022, Advance Global Capital worked with their partner institution to help Vive Agro, a company servicing their direct-to-consumer customers with products such at-home recipe kits and wholesale prepared ingredients for kitchens and several major international restaurant chains. In collaboration with a Bogota-based non-bank financial institution partner, Vive Agro’s recent developments include farming innovation methods such as training on productivity, food safety, and fair labor, as well as meeting Good Agricultural Practices requirements with regards to water quality and post-harvest handling of fruits and vegetables. The organization also manufactures produce in Colombia.
80% of the staff at the processing facility in Bogota are women, for whom flexible work schedules including expanded family leave are essential. Vivie Agro works to ensure a well-balanced and respectful relationship between employees and employer, while furthering their responsible farming methods.
Building community and Colombia’s economy through Carnaval de Barranquilla
AGC’s co-CEO, Sudha Bharadia, visited AGC’s partner to learn how they support economic development in Barranquilla, Colombia.
In December 2022, Advance Global Capital’s Co-CEO, Sudha Bharadia, visited their partner in Barranquilla, Colombia to learn how they are supporting Carnaval de Barranquilla’s cash flow needs. The annual festival, which takes place right before Lent and is built on traditions that are influenced by the Caribbean, Spanish, and African cultures across Colombia, is essential to Barranquilla’s economy and is a year-round planning. AGC’s partner financially supports the various aspects of the celebration from costume creation to float and accessory manufacturing. AGC’s partnership contributes to the economic development of the region, as over 55,000 jobs across media, crafts, theater, entertainment, tourism, and music are created for the festival. Read more about Carnaval de Barranquilla.
Regenerative finance fosters hope for Mexican berry farmers
AGC’s partner helped to support berry farmers in Mexico through the challenges they faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of AGC’s partners in Mexico worked throughout the pandemic to support small businesses in need of flexible financing. From 2020 to 2021 there was a significant decrease in the number of businesses receiving support from the government in Mexico or other financial institutions. Businesses did not receive subsidies and banks restricted funding even for clients with approved lines of credit.
AGC’s financing partner was able to quickly respond to the needs of their clients by modifying payment terms to reduce the financial burden on the businesses they were supporting. AGC’s partner also expanded their scope of business to include agriculture and transportation sectors. In fact, the Finance Director noted that, “One of our most popular products is funding farmers who sell berries to the agricultural associations, who then package and ship the fruit to clients outside of Mexico.” With the support of AGC’s partner, 98% of their clients that needed adjusted payment terms are still in business. AGC’s partner has also been able to expand their business and increase the number of jobs at the organization. Read more about AGC’s impact in Mexico.
Gender smart fuel for small businesses in Central Europe
AGC’s work helps to support small businesses like VOne, an eco-friendly chemical company in Poland.
AGC continues to deliver inclusive financing and positive impact in Poland to help drive economic growth and gender equity. One of their partners in Poland is women-led company that provides tailored and affordable short-term funding to small businesses like VOne, an eco-friendly chemical company that sources quality inputs to manufacture safer, environmentally friendly cleaning products. Since the owner of VOne is on the road frequently, managing several production sites across Poland and training customers on how to use the products safely, speed of uploading invoices and paying employees is critical. The financing partner helped VOne improve payment terms and wait time after issuing their invoices to customers. The working capital also helps the companies ensure their staff are paid and that they are able to continue to grow and scale. Learn more about how AGC is improving accessibility to funding for small businesses.
Learn more about our portfolio partners on our website.