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Impact Ventures

Heifer International connects small-scale farmers to market opportunities, with the goal of seeking social impact first and foremost, with any financial returns invested back into the communities where we work around the world.

Our Impact Venturing Prototype connects farmers and cooperatives with access to infusions of capital, enabling them to develop and achieve self-reliance more rapidly. The purpose of the prototype is to learn while doing and identify and remedy any gaps in Heifer’s capability prior to launching impact venturing on a much larger scale, and potentially with external capital. 

Key Principles


We are interested in making investments only within enterprises/co-op ventures related to Heifer’s portfolio of pre-existing programs

Geographic interest

All of Heifer’s geographic areas represented—Americas, USA, Africa, Asia

Capital for prototype

Heifer is internally funding the capital for the prototype investments. A more robust roll-out would likely include Heifer Foundation capital as well as other investors


Most opportunities reviewed in the assessment appear to be debt; perhaps some unique equity opportunities will arise, but these are likely to be rare


Collaboration with experienced impact investors, which could range from assistance in deal structure to co-lending and beyond

Heifer Value Add

Validation of the Heifer Value Proposition. These include but are not limited to:

  • Identification of investment opportunities
  • Continued capacity building of investee and ongoing monitoring of investment
  • Facilitating investment by targeting a connection to the appropriate value chain
  • Impact targets tied to small-scale farmer set and measured through Heifer’s existing systems
  • 64% Sales Increase

    Mexico PROMESA Café, a financing pilot sponsored by Heifer International, supported the commercialization for three Robusta coffee containers, fulfilling contracts signed with CAFINCO. The selling of three batches of Robusta coffee (48,721 kilograms) increased participating cooperatives’ sales by 64 percent, an increase of 31,471 kg from the previous harvest.

  • 22% Higher Price

    than local intermediaries would pay when farmers sold their coffee directly to CAFINCO. A total of 63 participating families each received an average of U.S. $1,568.00 from this sale, an increase of 17.5 percent in income from coffee over the previous year.