Root Capital announced as recipient of foundation's first agricultural development program-related investment

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Organization to expand economic opportunities for 500,000 rural households in Africa with $10 million investment and $4 million grant

CAMBRIDGE, Mass -- Root Capital was announced today as the recipient of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's first program-related investment (PRI) from its Agricultural Development initiative. Root Capital will use the six-year, $10 million PRI as loan capital to scale its operations in Sub-Saharan Africa. The investment will expand economic opportunities for more than 500,000 rural households by enabling Root Capital to extend access to credit, financial management training, and global market opportunities for small and growing rural businesses. The $4 million operating grant will support Root Capital's five-year growth plan to achieve a financially self-sustainable lending program by 2013.

To read the full press release, visit the Root Capital web site.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people's health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people-especially those with the fewest resources-have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.