Dr Susan de Witt is the programme coordinator for innovative finance at the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the first academic centre in Africa dedicated to advancing social innovation and entrepreneurship. She discusses some of the innovative models that her organisation investigates and the potential impact that this could have on corporate philanthropy.
"The South African Business Development Services Provider1 (BDSP) space is active and growing. According to ANDE South Africa’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem map, there were almost 150 BDSPs2 supporting entrepreneurs in 2017, with estimates exceeding this figure. National development and transformation priorities, coupled with global trends, have seen a proliferation of these programmes in South Africa, yet little is known about their effectiveness and uniqueness in the South African context. In an effort to deepen understanding of the incubator and accelerator landscape in South Africa, ANDE hosted a series of breakfast roundtables in Johannesburg and Cape Town in 2017 and 2018. This document presents an overview of the key findings of the roundtables and provides recommendations for further research.
"This insight paper synthesizes the findings of a survey commissioned by the ReDesigning Development Finance Initiative (RDFI) to: (1) generate a view of existing Blended Finance funds, facilities and supporting mechanisms (the "investment vehicles"), (2) derive insight into the implementation and motivations of these vehicles, and (3) analyse the additionality, impact and effectiveness of different Blended Finance approaches."
"This Review is a Showcase of the Outstanding Models and Practises that Make Up the Innovative Finance Ecosystem Across Africa. As this space has evolved over the past decade, there have been many breakthroughs in the design and implementation of innovative finance, and in advancing social innovation. During the five years of the Bertha Centre’s existence, the Innovative Finance Initiative has worked with social finance experts across the world and partnered with government, enterprises, and investors to research, incubate and test promising innovative finance models and vehicles across Africa."
"Today’s fast-growing impact investing market is expected to top $300 billion by 2020. But back in 1983, when MacArthur made its first program-related investment (PRI), the practice we now call impact investing was little more than a hopeful experiment, aiming to fuel social and environmental gains. No one really knew if it could make a significant difference."
"For decades, the same models of funding were used to effect positive social and environmental impact. Corporates across the continent channel grant funding into projects and programmes that attempt to achieve the same social outcomes that many peer organisations, governments and international donors are working towards, yet each party often works independently. A myriad of silo interventions and an over-reliance on grant funding run the risk of being unsustainable and inefficient. Natasha Suchecki, impact investing project manager at the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship, explores how the ecosystem is shifting; with innovative approaches to funding social and environmental impact being developed, tested and scaled – creating new opportunities for corporates to get involved and assume bold positions of leadership in development."