A person makes marks in a ledger that has Ugandan cash sitting on it.

Impact Investing

Infusing communities with capital

We provide targeted financial support that propels farmers toward self-reliance

A man and a woman in Tanzania sit together reviewing documents as a young boy looks on from a doorway.


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.

We use a variety of investment vehicles to generate impact. We also establish relationships with banks to provide loan capital to the farmers and cooperatives we work with. Some of the partnerships do not require Heifer investment capital and many transactions are led by country offices or project partners.

Our investments leverage more than $9 million in additional funds from multiple financial partners around the world, supporting 37,000 farmers and entrepreneurs.

Women counting eggs

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

Learn more about our model

Learn more about Connection to Markets.
A young man in Nepal smiles as he walks to the back of a pickup truck loaded with goat. Behind him is a building with a fenced off enclosure for goats.

Connection to Markets

We help make market linkages so farmers can sell their goods at a better price.

Learn more about Technology and Innovation.
Man working with a water purification system.

Technology and Innovation

We connect farmers to technologies to improve production and help them manage and scale their businesses.

Learn more about Training.
Men and women are trained how to use a weighing contraption to see how big their goats are.


Learning new techniques allows farmers to scale their businesses.