William Foote is the founder and CEO of Root Capital, a social investment fund that is pioneering finance for grassroots businesses in rural areas of developing countries. Root Capital provides capital, market connections and financial education to small- and growing-businesses such as farmer and artisan associations that are caught in the gap between microfinance and traditional banking.
Prior to founding Root Capital, Mr. Foote worked in the Latin American corporate finance group at Lehman Brothers, and as a journalist in Mexico and Argentina. In 2008, Mr. Foote was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and he was named an Ashoka Global Fellow in September 2007. Root Capital has received the Fast Company/ Monitor Group Social Capitalist Award (2006, 2007, 2008); the World Business Award in Support of the Millennium Development Goals (2006); and the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship (2005).
Mr. Foote sits on the steering committee of the Aspen Institute’s Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) and is a founding board member of the Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST). He is also a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the boards of the Open Learning Exchange (OLE) and E&Co. He has been featured in many publications, including Financial Times, Miami Herald, LA Times and Boston Business Journal. Mr. Foote holds a BA from Yale University and an MSc in development economics and economic history from the London School of Economics.