Initiative for Smallholder Finance

The Initiative for Smallholder Finance (ISF) is a multidonor and investor platform for the development of financial services for the smallholder farmer market. It was launched in May 2013 with the intention of making marked progress toward closing the gap between the $450 billion in smallholder financing demand and the current $10-20 billion supply. The ISF’s primary role is to act as a "design catalyst." The emphasis is on mobilizing additional financing for smallholders and seeding replication of innovative models in new markets.

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Farmland aerial view
Report: This new Briefing Note from ISF Advisors builds on previous analysis of the natural stages of agricultural finance, and interrogates more deeply the transition that countries make from government-led to more bank-led agricultural finance.
BMS cover photo
Report:

Smallholder farmers are uniquely vulnerable to a wide range of disruptive shocks, from...

Report: Major shifts and trends that have shaped the FSP market since the 'innovation inflection point', and a look into a new model for FSP segmentation.
MCF Huxta
Analysis: A look into our new 'transition pathways' view of smallholder household segments.
Agricultural plots
Analysis: Highlights from a review of the major donor agendas currently shaping the development of global smallholder finance via grant-based subsidy.
Analysis: Explores the rising number of new databases emerging in smallholder finance and the opportunities for funders/donors, financial service providers, and researchers to engage.
TA Pulse
Analysis: Insights from the evolving Technical Assistance (TA) landscape in agricultural finance.
Community: A new blog series, jointly authored by the Initiative for Smallholder Finance and the Learning Lab will share monthly sector trends in smallholder finance and next steps forward for FSPs, donors, and investors. The Pulse is rooted in key findings and recommendations highlighted in the ISF's and Lab's latest state of the sector report, Inflection Point. 
Analysis: The fourteenth briefing note in a series from the Initiative for Smallholder Finance, the Dalberg Design Impact Group (DIG) explores the causes of low uptake in digital credit for smallholders to better understand how we can develop concrete product solutions to jump-start adoption of digital credit products by them. 
Tool: Speaker presentations posted from the Learning Lab's October 2016 partner gathering where financial service providers and other practitioners shared experiences and research on digitally-enabled finance and customer centricity.
Analysis: The thirteenth briefing note in a series from the Initiative for Smallholder Finance, explores the latest practices from the climate finance community and the agricultural finance community to understand how new combined models can boost returns and attract new investors.
Analysis: The Learning Lab recently supported research by the MIX on detailed 2015 lending data from leading social lenders, who make up the Council on Smallholder Agricultural Finance (CSAF). The findings were summarized in the 2015 CSAF annual report, which takes a deeper look into the current state of the sector through the lens of donors, investors, and lenders. Dan Zook, Director of Investments at the Initiative for Smallholder Finance (ISF), unpacks some of the key highlights from the report, many of which corroborate and illustrate major insights from our study, Inflection Point.

Initiative for Smallholder Finance

The Initiative for Smallholder Finance (ISF) is a multidonor and investor platform for the development of financial services for the smallholder farmer market. It was launched in May 2013 with the intention of making marked progress toward closing the gap between the $450 billion in smallholder financing demand and the current $10-20 billion supply. The ISF’s primary role is to act as a "design catalyst." The emphasis is on mobilizing additional financing for smallholders and seeding replication of innovative models in new markets.