Our Story

Dear Friends,

I want to share the story of Arrow with you. The line I always use is that Arrow’s financial model came out of our work at Cornerstone International. We saw a need for financial access in the “missing middle” because of our work with entrepreneurs around the globe. And that’s true. But the real story, the passion behind Arrow, runs deeper than that.

The reason that finance gap in the missing middle resonated so deeply has to do with human potential. One of my first passions is helping people – men, women, children, young, old, white, black, brown, and every group in between – fully embrace and utilize the abilities they inherently possess.

Seeing thousands of entrepreneurs unable to step into their full capacity simply because they can’t access basic financial services is infuriating. I made an internal pact with myself to try and do something that would help close the nearly two trillion-dollar finance gap that defines entrepreneurship for so many. A new journey was beginning.

Entrepreneurs like Norman and Mariantonia in Nicaragua, Fara in Guatemala, Andrei in Romania, Kojo in Ghana, and so many others are the reason why this matters. These men and women are emerging entrepreneurs who have built businesses, have employees, and have revenue, but their inability to gain access to appropriate business credit keeps them stuck on a dusty and overcrowded plateau. Microfinance can no longer support their capital needs, and commercial lenders are bound to collateral and credit history guidelines these entrepreneurs can’t yet meet.

I was convinced there had to be a unique intervention to support these entrepreneurs in a way that would bring them to the commercial market. I saturated myself with non-traditional capital access mechanisms. I reached out and had many conversations. I “borrowed” a lot of ideas from these conversations. I started scribbling on marker boards all over my office. How could this fit with that? How do we ensure human potential and leadership capacity are key focal points? What’s the exit strategy? How do we get stakeholders to unite and push the wheel in the same direction? These were all questions I was asking.

After months of analysis, a few rounds with my punching bag, and more than one set of dry erase markers, a combination of ideas developed by giants before us came together in one place to become the Arrow model. Local accelerators would ensure business training that focused on effective leadership. Philanthropic investors (young and old, mid-career or post-career) could leverage their financial standing to uplift emerging entrepreneurs. Local banks would track repayments to build a credit history & provide local legal jurisdiction to insulate risk. The stakeholders were coming into view.

This could work. This would work – for investors, for entrepreneurs, for communities. The model’s potential for impact was real. The missing middle would have a new mechanism to access credit so small businesses could thrive.  Small business, after all, is the growth engine of any strong economy — look at our own here in the United States.

Arrow is still in its infancy, and the best is yet to come. We have an amazing team, incredible global partners, and a passion for sustainable impact. Thank you for being part of what we’re doing.

A work in progress,

Chad Jordan, co-founder & CEO

WHY

A nearly $10 trillion finance gap in the “missing middle” means many emerging market small businesses are left unable to scale.  They might be able to access finance from local institutions, but with terms that aren’t supportive of scale, they are left on a plateau, unable to grow.  Arrow helps address this gap by serving as an investment intermediary that not only helps small businesses access financing, but also helps them get plugged into the local market.  This intervention not only creates jobs for unskilled workers, but also transforms communities via increased access to education, healthcare, and food for families of the newly employed.

 

 

HOW

Arrow Global Capital connects investors to vetted enterprises across the globe.  Arrow makes these connections through a series of high-touch partnerships that minimize risk and maximize impact.  Arrow is not a typical fund, but rather an impact investing intermediary that mobilizes “idle capital” to provide a unique debt instrument to trained, vetted, high-growth enterprises in emerging market economies.

 

 

 

The Arrow Model

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Arrow Global Capital works for both investors & entrepreneurs, considering social, environmental, relational, & financial criteria as part of its investment strategy

 

Where

 

Contact

Kirkland-BlackKirkland & Ellis LLP is a 1,600-attorney law firm representing global clients in complex litigation, dispute resolution and arbitration, corporate, restructuring, tax, and intellectual property and technology matters. The Firm has offices in Beijing, Chicago, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Shanghai and Washington, D.C. Kirkland is committed to providing legal services without charge to those who cannot afford counsel, with the goals of improving lives, bettering communities and deepening our professional experience.

 

ISLP-Logo
Sourced through the International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP), Kirkland & Ellis LLP is representing Arrow Global Capital on a pro bono basis. Helping to draft partnership agreements, guarantor contracts, loan agreements, and much more, the legal team we’re working with from Kirkland’s New York office is an invaluable asset to the Arrow process.

 

Arrow Global Capital is a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Visit our “Bridge the Gap” campaign page to learn how you can support Arrow.