Get Involved – Investors

Access to Capital for Rural Enterprises (ACRE) aims to overcome the time and cost barriers to impact-first investment in rural enterprises in developing markets.


ACRE NGOs have long-term relationships with enterprises in over 100 agricultural value chains in more than 50 countries. Through our extensive in-field presence and our existing or planned programme work, we aim to generate an investment pipeline so that enterprises needing £100,000 -£1m can connect to investors through an innovative syndicated financing model.

We have already identified 100 enterprises in Africa, Asia and Latin America, which need patient equity investment alongside extensive technical assistance to expand sustainably, potentially lifting hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and maximising the impact on the market systems in which they operate.

You can see more about our investment process here.

Our unique impact:

• ACRE NGOs play a unique role in supporting enterprises prior to investment, with capacity building and with evaluation of their systemic and social impact.

• ACRE will target enterprises that have the potential to be sustainable and that directly contribute to improving the livelihoods of workers, producers and/or consumers at the bottom of the pyramid.

• ACRE will prioritise opportunities for impact beyond the specific enterprise – opportunities that may help to create a wider market change. The primary focus will be upstream enterprises, which are critical in the smooth operation and scalability of rural value chains. It is hoped that investments made through the syndicated finance model will complement more commercial deals being done downstream and lead to stronger market systems.

• It is hoped that ACRE’s work will influence wider investment practice, encouraging investors to take a market system view of their participation in any particular value chain. We hope to prove the importance of early stage support to develop upstream-inclusive enterprise solutions.

Investor Profile

The indicative volume of investment across the syndicate will be £1m in year 1 (2016). We plan to build this up to £3m p.a. by year 3. We are seeking 5-10 cornerstone investors who are initially prepared to invest at least £100,000 each per annum.

Initial investors will be:

  • patient, impact-first investors who wish to engage with the ACRE syndicate model over the mid to long term and help build a marketplace for early stage companies, which have a potentially pivotal role to play in market system development.
  • able to leave their capital invested until a positive result has been achieved (10+ years) and willing to take a first loss position to create wider sustainable change rather than shorter-term financial returns.

Our investor leaflet can be viewed here.

To find out more about investment opportunities please contact Programme Director, Deirdre O’Sullivan-Winks.