Our firm, Intellidex, is a leading capital markets advisory firm that supports clients across the entire spectrum of capital to solve difficult problems through the development of evidence-based and innovative solutions. We have undertaken extensive research in the impact finance field and through this work, identified the need for a more structured approach to developing a strong evidence base for impact investments across the African continent. We are inspired by both our clients and the broader impact investing community’s commitment to using capital to attain social and environmental outcomes alongside financial returns.
Moreover, we recognise that the funding gaps for achieving these outcomes at scale will require funders and investors to work together to build financially sustainable solutions for the long term. Given our extensive experience undertaking industry-leading awards research in the financial services sector, it was a natural extension of this work to add impact investment awards to develop the evidence base that can support further growth of the industry.
These awards will highlight some of the best ideas, celebrate the early achievements, and hopefully inspire many more to join the exciting new world of finance and development in Africa.
The industry has already responded. In fact, we had quite a number of inquiries even before the official launch. We are already tracking a large number of impact investment projects on the continent, and we have partnered with leading industry bodies in the impact field globally to ensure that we reach the right audiences.
There a number of ways that winners can benefit. Many of these initiatives need to attract additional investments, and winning will place them on the global stage.
Judges will come from each of the partner organisations that work in impact investments. We aim to have a judging panel that represents the length and breadth of our diverse continent. We’ve identified 10 awards – one for each of the stakeholders and role players in an impact investment transaction ranging from the pioneering social entrepreneurs to investment funds and even one for the most innovative financial instrument.
When it comes to impact investments, we have to ensure that the nominees are of the highest moral and ethical calibre. These exclusion criteria are the minimum bar for these projects to clear in order to participate.
We expect that the impact investment activity on the continent will grow exponentially over the next five years. With that will come a huge number of even higher quality projects and we will also see the outcomes of many projects under way. In five years’ time, we will be able to have evidence of impact, with robust data and many case studies and good examples to inspire even further innovation and investment.