RSF Social Finance has just invested over $900,000 in four women-led enterprises that are creating opportunities for women and girls around the world: Akola Project, Eu’Genia Shea, Kreyòl Essence and Spotlight: Girls. This form of impact investing is a collaborative gift-money fund designed to provide diverse forms of catalytic capital to women social entrepreneurs at critical moments.
Three of the four organizations receiving loans advance women by providing economic empowerment, education and other benefits in the U.S. and internationally. All four were founded by women and are pursuing significant growth opportunities.
Akola Project—growing jewelry business lifts up disadvantaged women workers in U.S., Uganda. Founded by Brittany Merrill Underwood in Uganda in 2007 and now based in Dallas, the nonprofit Akola Project has a rapidly growing jewelry business that employs women facing high barriers to employment.
Eu’Genia Shea—natural skin care products empower women across the value chain. It is a New York–based Naasakle International has supplied hundreds of tons of natural shea butter to cosmetics producers and distributors since 2000, following organic and fair trade principles and employing and empowering women throughout its supply chain.
Kreyòl Essence—luxury beauty oils create economic opportunity for Haitian women. Based in the Miami area and led by founder Yve-Car Momperousse, is bringing the first 100 percent natural Haitian black castor oil and Haitian Moringa oil to the world market, and needs to expand its production to keep up with demand—particularly from its newest retail partner, Whole Foods Market.
Spotlight: Girls—building leadership through dramatic arts. Operating one of the only programs for girls focused on empowerment through the arts, Spotlight: Girls uses year-round camps and a multimedia platform to educate, inspire and activate girls and women to take center stage.
Read the full article about impact investing by Api Podder at My Social Good News.
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