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A GDI Case Study: ISF Advisors

How does GDI design and build social impact startups?

It’s a question we get a lot, so we’ve tried to answer it in a new GDI case study on ISF Advisors (formerly the Initiative for Smallholder Finance).

Starting with a Dalberg state of the sector market sizing report, GDI convened and facilitated a range of partners to design, build, and launch ISF in 2013. ISF initially launched as a research and facilitation platform to close the smallholder farmer finance gap but after two years, the platform pivoted to become an intermediary and advisory group helping to structure rural finance investments and partnerships.

GDI made ISF’s transition from a research platform to an advisory firm possible by helping ISF bring in approximately USD 6 million in flexible funding, providing strategic support, and building out ISF’s core staff of 10+ experienced hires. Today, ISF remains in GDI’s portfolio but continues to discuss exit opportunities as they arise.

To learn more about our partners along the way and understand what we’ve learned from both successes and challenges in building ISF, read the full case study.

Want to learn more about how GDI builds initiatives? Check out our case study on Convergence.