Kenya’s M.Lab and Senegal’s Investisseurs & Partenaires, Ethiopia’s Renew LLC, Tanzania’s Policy and Economic Research Council, Nigeria’s Doreo Partners and Ghana’s GIMPA Centre for Impact Investing and SliceBiz have emerged winners of the Rockefeller Foundation and the Tony Elumelu Foundation‘s Africa Impact Economy Innovations Fund (IEIF).
Launched in April 2013 at the Africa Impact Investing Forum (IEIF) provides grant capital for entrepreneurs with projects that create jobs in underserved sectors, and supports proposals geared toward enabling capital solutions, fostering entrepreneurial ecosystems and promoting impact investing industry infrastructure.
The winners were selected from a highly competitive pool of hundreds of applicants from across Africa, and represented several sectors across the continent including Finance, Agriculture, Policy & Research and Information Technology.
Administered by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), the rigorous selection process was undertaken by a committee which included Malik Fal, Managing Director of Omidyar Network Africa; Emmanuel N. Nnorom who was at the time, CEO of UBA Africa and currently the President of Heirs Holdings Group; Amit Bouri, Managing Director of the Global Impact Investing Network; Eme Essien Lore, Senior Associate Director at the Rockefeller Foundation Africa Regional Office,; and Dr. Wiebe Boer, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.
The vision for the winners is to enable through their various projects, opportunities for additional entrepreneurship activities across Africa to thrive. “The winners were selected for their work in bridging the gap between African businesses and financing options. We, at the Foundation are excited to be part of the process of supporting interventions that contribute to sustained economic development across the continent.” Dr. Wiebe Boer, explained
Upon receipt of the grant, several winners expressed renewed commitment to providing support services to their stakeholders with the additional supporting resources at their disposal.
“The IEIF grant will assist us to augment our portfolio of services with improved interventions for social enterprises and enable us increase the potential for success for start-ups that go through our incubation program.” said John Kieti of M.Lab, the grant winner from Kenya.
“Thanks to this funding, we can now focus on our core mission of creating alternative finance pathways for the next generation of African Start-ups through a micro-investment platform. This funding is by far our most remarkable opportunity to date and we intend to fully leverage the advantages to deliver some key outcomes for the Ghanaian and African start-up ecosystem,” added William Senyo the CEO of SliceBiz, one of the winners from Ghana.
Eme Essien Lore, Senior Associate Director at the Rockefeller Foundation, Africa Regional Office expressed enthusiasm for IEIF’s contributions to the global network of global investors. “The business ideas we received through the IEIF reflect the extensive entrepreneurial potential that exists in Africa. Our Foundation continues to believe that impact investing can transform the development landscape across the continent and we welcome opportunities such as the IEIF to prove that.”