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Intellidex launches inaugural Africa Impact Investment Awards

14th February 2023

By: Donna Slater

Features Deputy Editor and Chief Photographer

     

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As impact investing gathers momentum worldwide, capital markets and financial services research organisation Intellidex has launched the inaugural Africa Impact Investment Awards.

Intellidex MD Dr Graunt Kruger says the awards are being introduced to recognise organisations across Africa that are doing valuable work at the intersection of finance and social development.

Impact investing – a term that describes investments intended to deliver measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return – opens up a new world of possibilities for investors.

It is a critical way to support innovative development across the continent that tackles poverty and hunger, boosts job creation, improves social conditions and addresses inequality.

“If we want transformation, we need to encourage investment in transformational businesses, especially now when public resources have proven insufficient to ensure a decent standard of living for all,” he says.

The project is being conducted in partnership with the African Venture Philanthropy Alliance, Impact Investing Ghana, Impact Investing South Africa and the national advisory boards for impact investing of both Nigeria and Zambia.

Among the direct effects of impact investing are that it makes more resources available from more stakeholders; it increases the scale of private capital deployed to social and environmental causes where they are most needed; and, by rigorously measuring impact, improves the efficacy with which funds are deployed.

Indirectly, impact investing highlights best practice, supports market development and inspires more investors to join what is now a fast-growing movement. This, in turn, facilitates greater access to capital, particularly for smaller social enterprises that are struggling the most in the current climate.

Kruger says that, despite impact investing being relatively new to Africa, Africans are innovative and there are already “plenty” of success stories that highlight the continent’s inventiveness. “We know from other markets that focusing on impact investing will increase interest and engagement.”

The inaugural Africa Impact Investment Awards offer ten categories for entry, including Project of the Year, Social Entrepreneur/Implementor of the Year, Project Developer of the Year, Impact Financial Instrument of the Year, Impact Asset Owner of the Year, Impact Asset Manager of the Year, Impact Fund of the Year, Impact Market Builder of the Year and Outstanding Individual Achievement of the Year.

Project of the Year will be awarded to an impact initiative that demonstrates significant potential as a viable financial investment that also meaningfully improves social and/or environmental outcomes; while Social Entrepreneur/Implementor of the Year will be awarded to the owner of a social enterprise, nonprofit organisation or implementing partner that demonstrates financial sustainability with the enterprise’s products and services contributing to measurable and verifiable social and/or environmental impacts.

Project Developer of the Year will go to entities that initiate projects and create the opportunity for social and/or environmental impact by other stakeholders; while the Impact Financial Instrument of the Year award is specifically for the innovative financial instruments that form the underlying structure for impact investments.

The Impact Asset Owner of the Year award recognises asset owners and investors that deploy capital into impact investments such as pension funds, corporations, banks, governments and development finance institutions.

The Philanthropist of the Year will be chosen according to philanthropists, including high net-worth individuals, trusts and foundations, who deploy capital in innovative ways.

The Impact Asset Manager of the Year award is for impact-oriented investment houses placing or allocating impact capital; while the Impact Fund of the Year will recognise fund managers that have a dedicated impact investment fund within their overall portfolio.

The Impact Market Builder of the Year award will recognise 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.

The Outstanding Individual Achievement of the Year award recognises an individual who has made an outstanding contribution in the past year to support the growth of impact investment.

Any organisation or individual can submit entries.

Entrants can submit for more than one category and must be either registered in Africa, headquartered in Africa or have operations on the continent.

However, excluded from entering the awards are corporate social responsibility initiatives, investments that are not explicitly planned and measured for impact and investments that do not offer financial returns.

The deadline for submissions is March 31, with the awards to be presented at an event in Cape Town on July 14.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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