International development funders, programme implementors and financial institutions recognise how important it is to work with business to achieve development goals at scale. Yet the development sector is still learning how to do this successfully.
Whether designing, starting up, or in the middle of a project, Wellspring’s team of seasoned agribusiness advisors can help to ensure you put in place the very best strategy and systems to maximise your return on investment and positive impact.
We’re here as thought partner and implementing partner to make sure together we make markets/business work for poor people.
What sets us apart
We are unusual among consultancies in having deep practical experience of working and investing in Africa as well as experience of successfully implementing major market development programmes and managing impact investments. We combine this practical experience with a strong consulting skillset to partner with development colleagues, investors, companies and farmers to solve complex problems and achieve transformational change.
We are known for bringing to projects a strong understanding of the theory and analysis of market development and investment alongside valuable experience of implementation and delivery. We offer practical, actionable and realistic solutions and ideas. We help our partners to cut through the noise and build strong partnerships with private sector companies to deliver large-scale sustainable impact. And through all of our work we keep learning and bringing new experience back to our next project.
What drives us
We want to create sustainable and positive impact at scale, as efficiently as possible.
Impact includes creating jobs; raising farmer incomes; increasing food production and improving nutrition; decreasing the negative impacts of agribusiness on the environment; helping make farmers and markets to be more resilient to climate change; and ensuring people are not treated differently based on their race, gender, religion or age.
We know full well that markets such as agriculture in developing countries are rife with complex issues, perverse incentives and political economy challenges. We have deep experience in navigating through these with our partners. But in the real world, things don’t always work out as planned. Our partners appreciate that we are honest, inciteful and adaptive to market realities so we can both learn and improve.
Our founder and director, Michael Shaw, has been passionately committed to changing the lives of rural communities through market-based development since his days as a volunteer working on a Malawian tea plantation. After investing in his own successful poultry and honey businesses which had a direct impact in the African communities in which he lived and worked, he realised the opportunity to support many thousands of others to do the same – and the idea for Wellspring was born. 65 projects and £200M in facilitated investment later, Mike and his team are still working to expand their reach and impact even further. Our team has been hand-picked for passion and deeply caring about outcomes, alongside experience. Our goal is to impact 5 million lives through sustainable market transformation by 2030.
Where we are now
Since 2009 we’ve carried out over 60 long and short-term projects in agribusiness among many other areas. Alongside our partners we’ve facilitated investments into businesses, research and development projects worth over £200 million.