Welcome to the Krutham Africa Impact Awards case studies microsite.
These awards are part of Krutham’s efforts to build impact investing in Africa. We have partnered with FirstRand to undertake a series of case studies that showcase achievements in the field. They provide key insights into the features and outcomes of projects that stood out. See more about FirstRand’s support for the project here.
The inaugural winners were announced at an event on 31 August (see announcement here).
In this dedicated site, we present case studies on the winners and some other prominent examples of innovative impact investing work on the continent. The case studies have been standardised to assess the project design, gap being filled, impact thesis, links to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, measured outcomes, financial performance, potential for replicability and risks. We hope this forms a resource for the ecosystem – from investors to developers – that spurs innovation and enhances impact investing on the continent. We intend for it to build over time, through subsequent annual awards as well as awards made in other regions.
The case studies range from impact investing funds, delivering considerable social impact while also providing investors with competitive returns, to social entrepreneurs creating products that enable better lives such as reducing the risks of fire in informal communities. These demonstrate the role of different players in the ecosystem, from project developers to investors and from impact accelerators to social entrepreneurs. The case studies demonstrate excellence in each of these functions that together drive the success of impact investing across Africa. We hope these awards and case studies accelerate that success.
The sections below contain all the information about the awards, from the judges the criteria used. The case studies section includes downloadable PDFs of each case study that you can access.
We welcome any feedback about the awards or case studies. Please use this form to send us your thoughts.
Below we present case studies on the 11 winners and 9 runner-ups of this year's awards (see the category descriptions below). We will add further case studies soon, so stay in touch for the latest updates.
Catalytic Investor of the Year: SAB Foundation
SAB has three programmes including a finance impact for loan fund
Catalytic Investor of the Year: Innovation Edge
Innovation Edge addresses critical challenges in the ECD sector by focusing its investments and support on start-up or early-stage ventures that are positioned to transform children’s lives.
Financial Instrument of the Year: 27four Investment Managers
Blended finance solution to deliver both commercial returns and impact such as job creation, transformation and economic growth for investors.
Impact Accelerator of the Year: LEAP Africa Social Innovators Programme
Equips African innovators with the necessary skills, resources and connections to grow.
Impact Asset Manager of the Year: Vital Capital
Turning critical challenges associated with the provision of water, food, healthcare and sustainable infrastructure into high-return opportunities that deliver impact at scale.
Impact Asset Manager of the Year: Phatisa (NB IMM framework)
With nearly half a billion dollars under management, Phatisa distinguishes itself by refusing to see a trade-off between impact and returns. The ampersand (&) at the heart of its brand embodies this core principle.
Impact Fund of the Year: Yunus Social Business
Empowers local social businesses in East Africa that provide employment, education, healthcare, clean water and clean energy.
Impact Fund of the Year: Alitheia Capital
Africa’s first and largest gender-lens investment private equity fund.
Impact Market Builder of the Year: Impact Investing Ghana
Impact Investing Ghana is an independent cross-sector initiative that promotes sustainable development and advances the development of the impact investment ecosystem in Ghana.
Outstanding Individual Achievement: Evelyne Dioh
Sits on several boards of local businesses and on the investment committee of two investment funds.
Project Developer of the Year: eha Impact Ventures
Investing in women-led businesses for impact.
Project Developer of the Year: Impact For Africa S.p.A.
Impact investment in frontier markets and undeveloped value chains and bottlenecks.
Social Entrepreneur of the Year: Ilara Health
Innovative solutions to Africa’s healthcare challenges and needs.
Special consideration: XSML
With a focus on Central Africa XSML Capital has invested in more than 70 enterprises and covered assets of $159m. Its investment teams in Angola, DRC and Uganda help to grow small businesses to become medium and large enterprises by providing tailored financing and expertise.
FirstRand is a group of integrated financial services businesses that encourages innovation and rewards different thinking from its people. We are one of the largest banking groups in Southern Africa and we are active in several other markets across Africa and in the United Kingdom. We recognise our responsibility to deliver both financial value and positive social outcomes and have embedded shared value in our strategy and operations.
We are pleased to sponsor the Krutham African Impact Investment Awards case studies series to showcase financial innovation that tackles social and environmental challenges on our home continent. The awards draw out excellence, providing examples for others emulate, showing what is possible when investors work with social entrepreneurs, governments and communities to deliver change. Our strategy encourages innovation that solves our challenges, and we are pleased to support thought leadership on impact investing in Africa.
See more about FirstRand’s contract with society here.
These awards shine a spotlight on excellence in impact investments.
The UN estimates that USD2.5 trillion in yearly spending is required to meet the Sustainable Development Goals each year until 2030. Currently, development funding globally is USD158 billion. This sum, although very sizeable, is not enough but can be re-purposed as catalytic capital to unlock USD212 trillion in private markets. Impact investing is one effective way of attracting private capital to augment development funding.
Impact investments are made with the aim of generating positive, measured social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.
Although the practice is relatively new, there is already a high level of interest among traditional and social investors. But many actors in this space operate with limited connection to others. Similarly, except for impact investing practitioners – those actively designing, investing in or participating in impact investments and those who have an active interest in the field – knowledge is limited. This is true for stakeholders in government, civil society, the media, the broader public and the investment community.
The awards serve to showcase a new world of possibilities to investors that who are active in impact, and those who are considering it. This in turn could facilitate greater access to capital, particularly for smaller social enterprises. Governments on the continent benefit from additional capital to support their development objectives.
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.
Innovation Edge, South Africa
FirstRand Foundation, South Africa
Financial Instrument of the Year
Impact Bond Innovation Fund, Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Foundation, 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.
27four Investment Managers, South Africa
Rand Merchant Bank, South Africa
Oryx Impact Fund, Nigeria.
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.
|2nd Place||Capital Solutions Ltd, Uganda|
Click here to download the case study.
|3rd Place||TAOTIC, Tanzania|
Impact 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.
AlphaMundi Group, Kenya
Impact 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 For Africa S.p.A., Rwanda/Namibia
Venture Capital Trust Fund, Ghana
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.
Alitheia Capital, Nigeria
Jaza Rift Ventures, Kenya
Impact 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. Click here to download the case study.
Impact Investing Ghana, Ghana
Data Innovators, South Africa
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. Click here to download the case study.
Zanele Twala & Justin Prozesky, Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Foundation, South Africa
Gwendolyn Zorn, Phatisa, Mauritius
Uche Kenneth Udekwe, Natal Cares, Nigeria
Project Developer of the Year
eha Impact Ventures, Nigeria – philanthropic impact investor that supports early stage, high-impact, women-led businesses in Africa. Click here to download the case study.
Impact For Africa S.p.A., Rwanda/Namibia
Food Enterprise Solutions, Senegal
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. Click here to download the case study.
llard Health, Kenya
Yebo Fresh, South Africa
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.
- Recognise impact investing practitioners for their valuable work.
- Build knowledge of and interest in impact investing in diverse audiences – particularly government, the investment community, civil society and the media.
- Inspire those in the investment community to become more involved in the active design of and participation in impact investments.
We use the Global Impact Investing Network’s definition of impact investments:
“Investments made with the aim of generating positive, measured social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.”
This excludes the following types of activities for awards consideration:
- Corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
- Investments with potential social or environmental benefits that are not explicitly planned for and measured.
- Investments in social and environmental causes that do not also carry financial returns for investors.
1. Project of the Year
Awarded to an impact initiative that demonstrates significant potential as a viable financial investment that also meaningfully improves social and/or environmental outcomes.
2. Social Entrepreneur/Implementor of the Year
Awarded to the owner of a social enterprise, non-profit organisation or implementing partner that can demonstrate financial sustainability at the same time that the enterprise’s products and services contribute to measurable and verifiable social and/or environmental impacts.
3. Project Developer of the Year
Awarded to entities that initiate projects and create the opportunity for social and/or environmental impact by other stakeholders.
4. Impact Financial Instrument of the Year
This award is specifically for the innovative financial instruments that form the underlying structure for impact investments. This could potentially be divided into further categories such as:
- 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.
5. Impact Asset Owner of the Year
This award recognises asset owners and investors that deploy their capital into impact investments and can include pension funds, corporations, banks, governments and development finance institutions.
6. Catalytic investor of the year
Funders deploying capital in innovative ways to enable impact investing will be recognised with this award. Philanthropists, donors, CSI initiatives, high net-worth individuals, trusts and foundations will be eligible for consideration.
7. Impact Asset Manager of the Year
This award is for impact-oriented investment houses placing or allocating impact capital.
8. Impact Fund of the Year
This award recognises fund managers that have a dedicated impact investment fund within their overall portfolio.
9. Impact Market Builder of the Year
Impact investments require major effort from market enablers. This award will recognise those enablers such as government departments, research firms, consulting firms, policy think-tanks or professional services companies that promote impact investments through thought leadership, project implementation and advisory work.
10. Outstanding Individual Achievement of the Year
This award is for an individual that has made an outstanding contribution in the past year to support the growth of the impact investments.
11. Special Consideration award
This award is for achieving excellence for an impact investment achievement that falls outside the ambit of the awards categories outlined above.
- 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)
When workshopping to finalise these criteria, a key point to consider will be the extent to which projects that are still in their early stages should be considered for awards. Such projects would then be evaluated along planned impact and financial performance criteria.
Each application will be awarded a maximum of 100 points. Winners in each category will be chosen according to applications with the highest average score.
Graca Machel Trust
Dr Frank Aswani
The African Venture Philanthropy Alliance
Dr Graunt Kruger
Amma Sefa-Dedeh Lartey
Impact Investing Ghana
1. Can I self-nominate for more than one award?
Yes. When you complete the nomination form you will be asked if you would like to submit a nomination for more than one award.
2. Can I nominate someone else?
Yes. You can simply share the nomination form with them. The link can be found here.
3.When is the closing date for nominations?
Nominations close on 31 March 2023.
4. Do I have to be based in Africa to submit a nomination?
Nominees can be registered in any African country, headquartered on the continent, or only have operations in one of the countries on the continent to qualify. We welcome investors across asset classes and across impact sectors which operate anywhere in Africa.
5. How will I know if my nomination was successful?
We will select 3 finalists in each award category. Finalists will be notified in August 2023.
6. When will the winners be announced?
Winners will be announced in Q3 2023.
7. Where and when will the awards take place?
The awards will be hosted online.
Talk to us about how we can position your brand on our global platform and enable your business. Contact Dr Graunt Kruger at [email protected].
The benefits include:
Brand eminence. Impact investments are an innovative approach to solving complex problems. The awards allow your firm to align your brand with innovators and pioneers working at the cutting edge of finance and development.
Strategic alignment. Impact investments are inherently sustainable because they deliver value for entrepreneurs, investors, governments and communities. The awards are an opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to sustainable change on the continent.
Build a network. The awards span the entire African continent, and we’re connecting all the role players.
Meet new clients. Showcase your solutions and expertise to boost your business development.
Investment pipeline. Through rounds of investment and exits, social entrepreneurs offer investors unique investable opportunities. The awards will showcase flourishing impact investment ecosystem within African countries and across the continent.
Crowd-in capital. Governments in Africa are capital constrained and need access to private capital to enable development. The awards will support effort to unlock more capital to boost development and reduce risk for all investors and stakeholders.
Add your support to the awards. Contact us at [email protected].