Pioneer Fund

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Investing in Livelihoods for the Last Mile

Investing in early stage, innovative and scalable social enterprises that improve the economic livelihoods of the world’s poor in rural and difficult to reach markets, or “the last mile”

Few organizations can successfully and sustainably deliver economic solutions and opportunity to the poor in deep rural areas given the substantial challenges and inefficiencies associated with serving a dispersed population of clients in remote locations.

The Pioneer Fund identifies promising social enterprises that are implementing market-driven business solutions in these challenging markets. Our investments capitalize companies that create income-generating opportunity for the poor and/or deliver tailored products and services to populations at the base of the pyramid.

We favor business models that build a network of meaningful connectivity with the poor in order to best understand and meet their needs, and those that use technology to facilitate and expand that outreach. Our investments aim to enhance and stabilize incomes, increase resiliency to economic shocks, diversify assets, promote financial inclusion and access to new markets, and provide access to actionable information for better risk-management decisions.

We offer early-stage, patient investment capital for enterprises that are committed to a social mission with tangible economic impact at an individual or family level. Our initial investment amounts of $250,000 to $750,000 are designed to fill the pioneer gap* where funding is most scarce and urgently needed in the impact investing sector. Additionally, wherever possible we use Grameen Foundation’s tools and solutions to help strengthen the social performance management, field operations and product offerings of pro-poor organizations.

For more information contact Thomas Light at capitalmarkets [at] grameenfoundation.org.

Pioneer Fund Portfolio Clients

PT Ruma
Indonesia

Ruma recruits and trains the owners of small shops in Indonesia to accept payments for utilities, conduct market research for consumer goods companies, and sell financial services products using custom mobile applications. These shop owners generate incremental income from each transaction, while providing necessary services to their communities.

Honey Care Africa
Kenya

Honey Care Africa’s seeks to be Africa’s honey company. Their mission is to support millions of farming families to grow out of poverty by providing an inclusive business model to increase incomes. They install hives on farmers’ land and manage the entire value-chain of the honey, starting with the hive owners through harvest, distribution and retail.

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