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Tony Elumelu

The Rockefeller Foundation and Tony Elumelu Foundation announce Africa winners of the Impact Economy Innovations Fund

February 13, 2014

The winners were selected from a highly competitive pool of hundreds of applicants from across Africa

The Rockefeller Foundation and the Tony Elumelu Foundation (http://www.tonyelumelufoundation.org) have announced the winners of the Africa Impact Economy Innovations Fund (IEIF).

Tony Elumelu

Tony Elumelu

Launched in April 2013 at the Africa Impact Investing Forum supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Tony Elumelu Foundation, 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.

Funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Tony Elumelu Foundation, 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.

Making the list of winning applications were Investisseurs & Partenaires (Senegal), Renew LLC (Ethiopia), M.Lab Africa (Kenya), Policy and  Economic Research Council (Tanzania), Doreo Partners (Nigeria),  GIMPA Centre for Impact Investing (Ghana)  and SliceBiz  (Ghana).

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.”

The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) will play an administrative role to manage the IEIF on behalf of the Tony Elumelu Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Impact investing includes those investments aimed at solving social or environmental challenges, while generating a financial return. The impact investing industry has the potential to steer significant capital to market-based solutions in sustainable agriculture, affordable housing, affordable and accessible healthcare, clean technology, financial services for the poor, and other sectors addressing the world’s most pressing problems. Impact investments can be made in both emerging and developed markets, and target a range of returns from below market to market rate, depending upon the circumstances.

For more than 100 years, The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission has been to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world. Today, The Rockefeller Foundation pursues this mission through dual goals: advancing inclusive economies that expand opportunities for more broadly shared prosperity, and building resilience by helping people, communities and institutions prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses. To achieve these goals, The Rockefeller Foundation works at the intersection of four focus areas – advance health, revalue ecosystems, secure livelihoods, and transform cities – to address the root causes of emerging challenges and create systemic change. Together with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation strives to catalyze and scale transformative innovations, create unlikely partnerships that span sectors, and take risks others cannot – or will not. To learn more, please

Founded in 2010, The Tony Elumelu Foundation (http://www.tonyelumelufoundation.org) is an African-funded philanthropic organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship in Africa by enhancing the competitiveness of the private sector. The Foundation creates impact through business leadership and entrepreneurship development programmes, impact investments, research, and policy advocacy

The Global Impact Investing Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing. Impact investments are investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. They can be made in both emerging and developed markets, and target a range of returns from below market to market rate, depending upon the circumstances. The GIIN builds critical infrastructure and supports activities, education, and research that help accelerate the development of a coherent impact investing industry

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