Willy Foote

Founder and CEO,
Root Capital

Willy Foote is the founder and CEO of Root Capital. He began his career as a journalist in South America then moved to Wall Street in Latin American corporate finance. Later, he won a business journalism fellowship in Mexico, where he discovered the challenges faced by agricultural businesses and small-scale farmers who lacked access to credit and markets.

He founded Root Capital in 1999 and has since grown the organization to over 130 employees, with clients across Latin America and Africa, and $125+ million in assets. Root Capital received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2005. Foote was named an Ashoka Fellow in 2007 and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2008, became a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) in 2009, was listed as one of Forbes’ “Impact 30” in 2011 and is a Henry Crown Fellow (Class of 2012). He is on the Executive Committee of the Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) and is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Foote holds an MS in development economics from the London School of Economics and a BA from Yale University.