When a man makes extra income, often times it goes Turks and Caicos Islands Email List outside the household. So from that lens, as we think about secondary impact, one dollar will go further if it’s generated by the woman. So that’s the central thesis with which we are driving incomes and involvement by our female members. Jonathan Levine 32:36 At the core of the Babban Gona story, of course, is money. Advancing credit to tens of thousands of farmers Turks and Caicos Islands Email List and shopkeepers—whose numbers keep doubling every year—takes a lot of it. Kola figures each farmer needs $500 to $1,000 in credit each year to reach their potential. Nonprofit ag support programs in Africa mostly rely on grants and donations. And there isn’t enough grant funding in all of Africa to reach the scale he had in mind. Kola Masha 33:06 We knew Turks and Caicos Islands Email List from day one, we would want to get to a million farmers by 2025.
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We knew the need in Nigeria was that by 2030, we could Turks and Caicos Islands Email List get to potentially 10 million. You know, simple math showed us that we needed to raise somewhere in the range about half-a-billion dollars. And so the model to scale would require significant amounts of debt financing. Jonathan Levine 33:31 He started small. The first $20,000 in loans came in through the crowdfunding program Kiva, and another $50,000 from a wealthy Nigerian woman in 2012. Over the next three years, Babban Gona raised about $800,000 in loans from DFID, the UK’s Development Fund for International Development. Even that was a drop in the bucket compared to what Turks and Caicos Islands Email List the company would need. But it laid important groundwork for attracting future investors. Kola Masha 34:00 It proved that the Babban Gona model could Turks and Caicos Islands Email List work and that we could repay our loans.
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That laid the foundation for building a clever three-tier capital structure, Turks and Caicos Islands Email List which Kola borrowed from a pioneer in the US community development industry. It’s called the Community Reinvestment Fund. Kola Masha 34:28 One of the key models we looked at was Community Reinvestment Fund, to understand how they had evolved from their early days in the mid-’90s, with maybe about $5 million in capital, to growing to the point where they now have Turks and Caicos Islands Email List about $3 billion in capital that they’ve raised to support small businesses in disadvantaged communities. Jonathan Levine 34:50 That model had never been used before to raise money for smallholder farmers. But Kola could see that it paved the way Turks and Caicos Islands Email List to big commercial lenders. Here’s how it works.