The Rockefeller Foundation and The Tony Elumelu Foundation have announced the launch of the Impact Economy Innovations Fund (IEIF) at the Impact Investing in Africa: Accelerating the Industry Regionally Forum.
The event, hosted by The Rockefeller Foundation, The Tony Elumelu Foundation, and the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the University of Cape Town (UCT) Graduate School of Business, provided a platform to introduce the investment and entrepreneurial community from all over Africa to the concept and practice of impact investing.
Through a series of presentations and panel discussions, participants developed a better understanding of the barriers to and opportunities for unlocking greater investment capital for impact at scale, while strengthening the sector’s entrepreneurial talent and African ecosystem.
“Throughout its 100-year history, The Rockefeller Foundation has worked to enhance the impact of innovative thinkers and actors,” said Eme Essien Lore, acting managing director at The Rockefeller Foundation. “Now, during our centennial year, our work is helping accelerate the growth of the impact investing industry in Africa as we partner with organisations that are at the forefront of helping to achieve equitable growth for all, such as The Tony Elumelu Foundation and the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship.”
François Bonnici, director of the Bertha Centre at the UCT Graduate School of Business, said, “We are conducting research on impact investing in South Africa to provide an annual barometer to track the trends and practices in the sector. With the support of The Rockefeller Foundation and The Tony Elumelu Foundation, the possibilities for impact investing in Africa are considerable.”
The IEIF will fund proposals geared toward projects that seek to enable capital solutions, foster entrepreneurial ecosystems and promote impact investing industry infrastructure – ultimately aimed at impacting the lives of poor or vulnerable people throughout Africa.
“Impact investing is a critical tool in driving our agenda of promoting entrepreneurship for lasting economic and social development in Africa. We want to see more deals of this nature and our commitment to support this new fund is just the beginning,” said Wiebe Boer, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.”
The IEIF will be managed by The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) in close collaboration with The Tony Elumelu Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation. A Request for Proposals (RFP) has been issued, calling for submissions to the IEIF that align with the Fund’s objective of boosting the development of robust regional markets.