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New Impact Fund Launched to Fuel Impact Investing in Africa

CAPE TOWN—Today, The Rockefeller Foundation and the Tony Elumelu Foundation announced the launch of the Impact Economy Innovations Fund (IEIF) at the Impact Investing in Africa: Accelerating the Industry Regionally Forum.

The event, hosted by The Rockefeller Foundation, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, and the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the University of Cape Town (UCT) Graduate School of Business, provided a platform to introduce the investment and entrepreneurial community from all over Africa to the concept and practice of impact investing.

Through a series of presentations and panel discussions, participants developed a better understanding of the barriers to and opportunities for unlocking greater investment capital for impact at scale, while strengthening the sector’s entrepreneurial talent and African ecosystem.

“Throughout its 100 year history, The Rockefeller Foundation has worked to enhance the impact of innovative thinkers and actors,” said Eme Essien Lore, acting managing director at The Rockefeller Foundation. “Now, during our Centennial year, our work is helping accelerate the growth of the impact investing industry in Africa as we partner with organizations that are at the forefront of helping to achieve equitable growth for all, such as The Tony Elumelu Foundation and the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship.”

Dr. François Bonnici, Director of the Bertha Centre at the UCT Graduate School of Business said, “We are conducting research on impact investing in South Africa to provide an annual barometer to track the trends and practices in the sector. With the support of The Rockefeller Foundation and The Tony Elumelu Foundation, the possibilities for impact investing in Africa are considerable.”

The IEIF will fund proposals geared toward projects that seek to enable capital solutions, foster entrepreneurial ecosystems and promote impact investing industry infrastructure—ultimately aimed at impacting the lives of poor or vulnerable people throughout Africa.

“Impact Investing is a critical tool in driving our agenda of promoting entrepreneurship for lasting economic and social development in Africa. We want to see more deals of this nature and our commitment to support this new fund is just the beginning,” said Dr. Wiebe Boer, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.”

The IEIF will be managed by The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) in close collaboration with The Tony Elumelu Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation.  A Request for Proposals (RFP) has been issued, calling for submissions to the IEIF that align with the Fund’s objective of boosting the development of robust regional markets. Click here for more information on how to apply for IEIF funding.

Achieng’ Otieno (The Rockefeller Foundation ARO),, Tel: +254 (20) 4987514

Jane Notten (UCT/Bertha Centre),, Tel: +27 (0)83 253 3102

Moky Makura (The Tony Elumelu Foundation),, Tel: +234 706 617 2802


About Impact Investing
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 information, please visit this link.

About The Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation aims to achieve equitable growth by expanding opportunity for more people in more places worldwide, and to build resilience by helping them prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses. Throughout its 100 year history, The Rockefeller Foundation has enhanced the impact of innovative thinkers and actors working to change the world by providing the resources, networks, convening power, and technologies to move them from idea to impact. In today’s dynamic and interconnected world, The Rockefeller Foundation has a unique ability to address the emerging challenges facing humankind through innovation, intervention and influence in order to shape agendas and inform decision making.  For more information, please visit

About The Tony Elumelu Foundation
Founded in 2010, The Tony Elumelu Foundation 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. For more information, please visit

About Bertha Centre for Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship
The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Bertha Centre) was established as the first academic centre on the African continent dedicated to research, teaching, dialogue and support of action on social innovations for positive, creative shifts in systemic social issues that change and challenge the rules, policies, technologies, structures, beliefs and institutions. Priority areas include local led solutions by private sector, civil society and public-private partnerships in education, health, poverty and inequality in Africa. The Bertha Centre was established in late 2011 in partnership with the Bertha Foundation.  For more information, please visit

About the Global Impact Investing Network
The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) is a not-for profit organization dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing. The GIIN builds critical infrastructure and supports activities, education, and research that help accelerate the development of a coherent impact investing industry. For more information, please visit