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Willy Foote

Founder and CEO, Root Capital

Skoll Awardee

Biography

Willy Foote is founder and CEO of Root Capital, an agricultural impact investor that helps increase incomes and stabilize employment for rural farmers in developing countries by investing in agri-businesses that collect and market the crops of hundreds or thousands of small-scale producers. Root Capital provides these enterprises with a unique combination of capital, training and access to trade partners to help them grow and become engines of impact that transform rural communities. Under Foote's leadership, Root Capital has provided more than $1 billion in loans to 630 agricultural businesses in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Together, these businesses have generated more than $6 billion in revenue, 80 percent of which has been paid directly to the 1.2 million smallholder farmers they serve.

Foote serves on the Executive Committee of the Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). He is a 2012 Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute; received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2005; and was named an Ashoka Fellow in 2007, a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2008, and one of Forbes’ “Impact 30” in 2011. He holds an MS in development economics from the London School of Economics and a BA from Yale University.