Young Africans running impact-driven businesses targeted at solving key African challenges have received a boost following the announcement of a scale-up funding opportunity at the Africa Social Impact Summit (ASIS) slated to be held on July 14, 2022, in Abuja, Nigeria.
The platform, which will give ten finalists a chance to pitch their solutions to a selected group of Africa-focused investors, is in line with the Summit’s goal of harnessing ideas and solutions capable of accelerating growth in Africa.
The Africa Social Impact Summit is a two-day event that brings together players from Africa’s civil society, private sector, and government to share ideas, learnings, plans, and practical solutions to ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals are met holistically.
With a focus on climate action, education, health, agriculture, circular economy, and women empowerment, the summit aims to provide opportunities for impact investors to scale market-led solutions which have the potential for long-term impact.
To achieve this, the Summit plans to host a deal room where shortlisted entrepreneurs will pitch their businesses to investors, answer questions about their operating models, and get constructive feedback from the investors that can help them better execute their ideas.
Breaking down the Deal Room sessions, Etemore Glover, Projects Lead for Impact Investors Foundation, the Deal Room’s implementing partners, explained that the opportunity is targeted at businesses that are currently operational and have demonstrated the ability to effectively address some of the continent’s challenges in a way that benefits everyone.
“Access to the right type of capital is a huge challenge for impact-oriented enterprises across the continent. Impact investments can deliver measurable social and environmental impact alongside financial returns in our economies. Hence, we are looking for social entrepreneurs who are running commercially viable businesses that deliver profit as well as social and environmental impact to apply for the programme. We want solutions that can scale from community to community, enriching lives as they go,” she added.
Speaking on behalf of the host organization, Sterling One Foundation, CEO of the Foundation, Olapeju Ibekwe, highlighted that a better framework for sustainable financing is one of the key anticipated outcomes from the Summit, and the Deal Room is a snapshot into how the framework will function.
“The Deal Room session will show the different players exactly how homegrown solutions can be backed with impact investment and the right partnerships to help our continent recover from the negative effects of COVID-19 and continue to grow”, she said.
Entrepreneurs who wish to apply must have been running their businesses for at least a year, and meet other eligibility criteria as stated on the application portal –