• Agriculture and Food
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Financial Services
  • Healthcare
  • Infrastructure
  • Technology

Agriculture and Food

Our goal: Build businesses that help reduce hunger, increase food security, and promote sustainable agriculture.

Impact Potential

Nearly one billion people around the world are undernourished. As the global population increases, and natural resources decrease, improving agricultural and food systems has never been more critical. The food and agriculture industry, valued at $5 trillion worldwide, has enormous market potential. Driven by a growing middle class, global crop demand is expected to more than double by 2050, and demand for meat in South Asia alone will likely quadruple between 2005 and 2030.

We need to meet global food needs while also protecting environmental resources, as agriculture accounts for 70% of worldwide water use and more than 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Innovative business models are needed in both developing and developed markets to improve efficiency, access, and nutritional quality.

Sector Leadership

Taryn Goodman is the Agriculture and Food Sector Lead.


Our goal: Build business that expand access to educational attainment, boost educational achievement, and strengthen pathways to employment.

Impact Potential

A quality education is the most direct path to opportunity. However, 132 million children, mostly in developing countries, never attend primary or secondary school. In the US, two thirds of 8th graders cannot read proficiently and less than 30% of community college students earn a degree in six years. Innovative education businesses can significantly improve these outcomes, and governments and non-profits are increasingly exploring private sector partnerships. Global spending on K-12 education is approximately $2.2 trillion, and private school enrolment is twice as high as it was 20 years ago. Investment by parents, students, and educators is rising, increasing 20% in developing countries between 2010 and 2015.

Sector Leadership

John Rogers is the Education Sector Lead.


Our goal: Build businesses that enable affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.

Impact Potential

More than one billion people lack access to reliable energy. Energy costs in developing markets can be 150 times that in developed markets, and despite having abundant renewable resources, many rely on dangerous sources, such as wood, kerosene, coal, and animal waste.

Power generation is one of the largest contributors to climate change, with the majority of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the use of fossil fuels. However, it is also one of the largest industries in the world, expected to require $48 trillion of investment through 2035 with $6 trillion for renewables alone. As renewable energy becomes more competitive, business demand rises, and cleaner energy sources become a global focus, there are compelling opportunities for growth in the sector.

Sector Leadership

Rick Needham is the Energy Sector Lead.

Financial Services

Our goal: Build businesses that expand financial inclusion, with the goal of reducing poverty by increasing household and small business earnings and enabling access to essential services.

Impact Potential

2.5 billion adults worldwide do not have access to formal financial services, and more than half of the lower income population in developing countries is unbanked and uninsured. Financial services are critical to financial security and business building, and financial inclusion multiplies the effects of economic development, enabling access to housing, education, healthcare, and energy as well as fostering business activity.

The growing need for financial services in developing countries is matched by a growing market to support it, particularly in financial technology (FinTech), which has the potential to expand access to financial services and can reduce the costs of transactions, which currently erode payment value by an average of 7.7% worldwide.

Sector Leadership

Maya Chorengel is the Financial Services Sector Lead.


Our goal: Build businesses that reduce the cost of health care, increase access to high-quality health services and health-saving interventions, decrease malnutrition, and improve access to clean water and consumer goods that improve health outcomes.

Impact Potential

More than a billion people lack sufficient health services, and only 50% of women in developing countries receive the recommended health care. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 115 people die every hour from diseases linked to poor sanitation, poor hygiene, and contaminated water. Globally, chronic non-communicable diseases like diabetes are on the rise. There is an opportunity to connect an active global healthcare market with the urgent need for basic, quality health services in the developing world and improve care throughout the global healthcare system.

Sector Leadership

Tom Verghese is the Healthcare Sector Lead.


Our goal: Build business that provide stable, affordable housing, efficient transportation, and low-cost input materials for the production of basic goods.

Impact Potential 

With over half the world population now living in cities, efficient mass transport and clean energy are becoming ever more important, as is quality housing, as 235 million urban households rely on substandard housing for shelter. 

Growth infrastructure is needed to create jobs and enhance the productivity of small and medium sized businesses, which are hampered by weak commercial distribution channels, stalling economic development in countries with little domestic or regional trade. Taking advantage of advancements in communication, social networks, and digital technology is key to finding lasting solutions to both economic and environmental challenges. The need for global infrastructure development is driving investment, and infrastructure spending is expected to grow from $4 trillion in 2012 to $9 trillion in 2025.


Our goal: Build businesses that accelerate digital inclusion and leverage software and mobile technology to drive efficiency, productivity, and innovation in education, healthcare, financial services, business operations, job creation and communications

Impact Potential

Only 4% of households in low-income countries have internet access, versus 81% in high-income countries. This hinders development across all The Rise Fund’s target sectors. Increasing internet penetration and expanded use of mobile technology offers the promise of healthcare, education, and financial services, and research has shown that a 10% increase in mobile penetration can add 4.2 percentage points to a country’s economic productivity. 

Not only is the market for Technology, Media, and Telecommunications (TMT) growing, but innovative TMT can leapfrog expensive and antiquated infrastructure, dramatically extending the reach and benefits of basic technologies such as the internet, mobile broadband, computing, and cloud-based software.

Sector Leadership

Brian Dunlap is the Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Sector Lead.