Krutham announces winners of inaugural Africa Impact Investment Awards

Recognising ten organisations and one individual in seven African countries

Johannesburg – 31 August 2023


Krutham (previously Intellidex) is today presenting awards to a range of African organisations and individuals making successful impact investments on the continent in the inaugural Krutham Africa Impact Investment Awards. The awards recognise their valuable work in promoting, financing and participating in investments that yield social and environmental benefits alongside financial returns.

Impact investing is more necessary than ever as increasingly constrained public resources prove insufficient to provide a decent standard of living for all across Africa.

Krutham managing director Dr Graunt Kruger says impact investing is relatively new to Africa. “Our award winners showcase a new world of possibilities for facilitating greater access to capital, particularly for smaller social enterprises.”

Kruger says Krutham aims to build interest and activity in impact investing among traditional and social investors. “Africa needs the investment community to become actively involved in the design of impact investments and to participate in the sector. It also needs the involvement and participation of government organisations, civil society and the media.”

One of the judges of the awards, Sophie Omar from the Impact Investing Institute, believes that highlighting the important and trailblazing work that is being done at every level of the investment chain, from emerging impact ventures to innovations in financial instruments, is essential. “By showcasing the range of opportunities across the African continent, the awards play a key role in growing the impact investing field,” she says.

The Krutham Africa Impact Investment Awards also aim to encourage impact investors to forge networks and to increase knowledge of the sector and its possibilities.

“Our award winners prove that there are very good impact investment activities in Africa but many of the organisations in this space have limited connections to others like them. We want to help create connections. Knowledge is also limited, except among experienced practitioners. We want to encourage the sharing and spreading of knowledge so that the sector can grow and prosper,” says Kruger.

Nominations were judged by 14 experts drawn from across Africa.

Judge Sylvain Merlen from the Egypt Impact Task Force says the “quality of participants in all categories, and richness of judges’ debates, are testimony to the balanced development of the impact investment and impact management ecosystem in Africa, an indispensable component to financing the Sustainable Development Goals”.

Leila Akahloun, senior advisor to Graça Machel Trust and board member of Impact Investing SA, added: “The Krutham Africa Impact Investment Awards are providing important recognition and visibility to the rapidly evolving impact investment landscape in Africa. I am particularly pleased to see a number of high impact funds and social enterprises nurturing the growth of women entrepreneurs.”




Social Entrepreneur of the Year

Lumkani, South Africa – insuretech company dealing with the challenge of informal settlement fires through risk-reducing technology and affordability; developer of an award-winning fire detection system.

Project Developer of the Year

eha Impact Ventures, Nigeria – philanthropic impact investor that supports early stage, high-impact, women-led businesses in Africa.

Catalytic Investor of the Year

SAB Foundation, South Africa – funds and supports entrepreneurs, emphasises creating opportunities for women, youth, rural communities and persons with disabilities.

Asset Owner of the Year

Old Mutual, South Africa – pursues long-term risk-adjusted returns for clients while aligning with the broader interests of society and addressing long-term systemic risk; drives real-world outcomes in the form of impact.

Impact Fund of the Year

Yunus Social Business, Kenya – finances and grows social businesses to end poverty and the climate crisis; provides flexible loans and hands-on growth support to social businesses and reinvests the capital; provides debt capital at concessionary rates in local currency and USD to social businesses.

Market Builder of the Year

IBIS Consulting, South Africa – helps clients achieve their impact goals through an integrated approach to impact investing advisory and support; maximises the impact created by clients by providing customised solutions and leveraging best practice methodologies and frameworks.

Financial Instrument of the Year

Impact Bond Innovation Fund, Standard Bank Tutuwa, South Africa – one of the first social impact bonds transacted in South Africa with a bond aimed at delivering early childhood development outcomes in the Western Cape.

Asset Manager of the Year

Vital Capital, Uganda– identifies overlooked opportunities and builds scalable businesses that transform lives and turn critical challenges associated with the provision of water, food, healthcare and sustainable infrastructure into high-return opportunities that deliver impact at scale.

Outstanding Individual Achievement of the Year

Evelyne Dioh, WIC Capital, Senegal – fund manager and managing director of WIC Capital, the first investment fund in West Africa that exclusively targets women-led small and growing businesses to unlock their full potential.

Impact Accelerator of the Year

LEAP Africa, Nigeria – a social innovators programme that provides skills, resources and connections for young innovators to create lasting solutions to community challenges, such as interventions that help to build sustainable systems and structures; focused on education, agriculture/food security, renewable energy/sustainable environments, education and technology, etc.

Special Consideration Award

XSML Capital, Democratic Republic of Congo – partners in growth for entrepreneurs in frontier markets in Africa; provides expertise, network and bespoke financing to nurture local talent and bring durable and fair prosperity to under-served markets; since 2010 has invested in SMEs in challenging markets;  invested in more than 70 enterprises and covered assets of $159 million.


Krutham uses the Global Impact Investing Network’s definition: “Investments made with the aim of generating positive, measured social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.” This excludes corporate social responsibility initiatives, investments with potential social or environmental benefits that are not explicitly planned for and measured, and investments in social and environmental causes that do not also provide financial returns for investors.


  • Originality of design (10 points)
  • The extent to which an unmet need is filled (10 points)
  • Impact (30 points)
  • Financial performance (30 points)
  • Potential for replicability of the instrument or transferability to other sectors (20 points)


  • Leila Akahloun, Graca Machel Trust
  • Dr Frank Aswani, The African Venture Philanthropy Alliance
  • Em Ekong, ANDE
  • Jacklyne Iminza, EAVCA
  • Tshepiso Kobile, SAVCA
  • Dr Graunt Kruger, Krutham
  • Amma Sefa-Dedeh Lartey, Impact Investing Ghana
  • Sylvain Merlen, UNDP
  • Abi Mustapha-Maduakor, African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association
  • Simunza Muyangana, BongoHive Technology and Innovation Hub
  • Mezuo Nwuneli, Sahel Capital
  • Atieno Otonglo, GSG
  • Sophia Omar, Impact Investing Institute
  • Dr Stuart Theobald, Krutham


  • Social Entrepreneur of the Year: social enterprises that can demonstrate financial sustainability contributing to measurable and verifiable social or environmental impacts.
  • Project Developer of the Year: organisations that initiate projects and create the opportunity for social impact by other stakeholders; an intermediary or “arranger” of stakeholders that together deliver impact and financial returns.
  • Catalytic Investor of the Year: funders deploying capital in innovative ways to enable impact investing, including philanthropists, donors, CSI initiatives, high net worth individuals, trusts and foundations.
  • Asset Owner of the Year: asset owners and investors that deploy their capital to impact investments; can include pension funds, corporations, banks, governments and development finance institutions.
  • Impact Fund of the Year: fund managers with a dedicated impact investment fund within their overall portfolio.
  • Market Builder of the Year: enablers such as a government department, research firm, consulting firm, policy think tank or professional services company that promotes impact investments through thought leadership, project implementations and advisory work.
  • Financial Instrument of the Year: innovative financial instruments that form the underlying structure for impact investments, including funding instruments aimed at institutional funders, impact delivery instruments to separate out innovation at large scale funding level, and innovation in lending schemes to targeted beneficiaries.
  • Asset Manager of the Year: impact-oriented investment houses placing or allocating impact capital.
  • Outstanding Individual Achievement of the Year: an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the growth of impact investments on the continent.
  • Impact Accelerator of the Year: impact hubs (e.g., incubators, accelerators) that are financially sustainable and provide support to emerging social enterprises in the form of capacity building and/or catalytic funding and connect social enterprises with impact investors; hubs that create opportunities for impact investors to invest and social enterprises to attract capital.
  • Special Consideration Award: made at the discretion of the judging panel to recognise a nominee that was not shortlisted or did not win in their respective category, but that are contributing materially to the development of the impact investing market through their impact investing intervention.