On October 26, 2017, MCE Social Capital hosted a private launch event in Washington, D.C. with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to announce our expanded partnership to alleviate global poverty.
A jointly funded effort between USAID’s Bureau of Food Security and the E3/Water Office made possible a blanket guarantee of $17.6 million given by USAID’s Development Credit Authority. This guarantee will support our loans in two key sectors: food security and agriculture, and water and sanitation.
Members of MCE’s staff, board, and other partners joined members of USAID’s Bureau of Food Security, E3/Water Office, Development Credit Authority, and other offices to commemorate this new phase of our partnership with USAID, which marks a significant step forward in our mission to empower women and families living in impoverished rural areas around the world.
USAID’s blanket guarantee to MCE reduces our exposure by 50% for up to $9.7 million in food security and agriculture investments and $7.8 million in water and sanitation investments across 56 countries around the world. MCE can disburse loans under this guarantee until September 30, 2026, and USAID will cover 50% of any principal default until September 30, 2029. In effect, this partnership will enable MCE to make larger investments in small and growing businesses and microfinance institutions creating sustainable social impact across the food security and agriculture and water and sanitation sectors, without increasing the exposure of our Guarantors.
In September 2016, MCE and USAID commenced their partnership when MCE received a $1 million grant through USAID’s Partnering to Accelerate Entrepreneurship (PACE) Initiative within the U.S. Global Development Lab. The PACE Initiative seeks to catalyze private sector investment into early-stage enterprises by identifying and testing innovative models or approaches that help entrepreneurs bridge the “pioneer gap” — thus unlocking the potential of thousands of promising enterprises around the world. This catalytic grant capital was instrumental in the launch of MCE’s new Small and Growing Business (SGB) Fund, which aims to create sustainable jobs, help smallholder farmers diversify and increase their income, and provide access to clean water and energy to women and families living in rural areas. MCE’s SGB portfolio has since grown to approximately $3 million, including nine SGBs across eight different countries in Africa, Central America, and India.
USAID also recently supported a loan made by MCE to ACME S.A., a prominent microfinance institution serving more than 30,000 borrowers with 32 branches throughout Haiti. Following extensive due diligence on both MCE and ACME S.A., USAID decided to support the loan through a guarantee provided by USAID’s Development Credit Authority, which provides partial credit guarantees to financial institutions in the developing world, substantially reducing transaction risks for local and international lenders. Read more about ACME S.A. and MCE and USAID’s collaboration to support the organization here.
“This is truly a milestone in the expansion of our relationship with USAID,” says Gary Ford, CEO of MCE Social Capital. “We are deeply grateful for their support of our work on behalf of the women and people living in rural areas in poverty around the world. And I’m excited to see the impact that will we will make with this partnership.”