Impact investing has taken hold in Nigeria as a financial tool to fund SMEs with a social mission, whereas philanthropy maintains a long tradition of being deployed to advance the country’s international development agenda. For social entrepreneurs looking to diversify away from philanthropic funding, impact investing may be an innovative tool that provides long-term solutions. For those departing the traditional investment space, impact investing offers an opportunity to combine impact metrics along with risks and returns. In collaboration with the Impact Investors Foundation and SME.NG, this new report from the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy at Cambridge Judge Business School seeks to elevate the voices of investees – effectively the ‘demand side’ of impact investing – by bringing their perspectives and understandings of impact investing and what is truly needed to deliver impact in Nigeria.
This report is among the first mixed-methods, open access studies of impact investing and philanthropy in Africa, and specifically highlights the reflections and lived experiences of 50+ Nigerian social entrepreneurs/SMEs that have accessed impact investing. The report also includes findings from six impact investors and intermediaries working with investees in Nigeria. To better understand the overlaps and divergences between philanthropy and impact investing, the two models are then placed vis-à-vis to understand their connectivity from the perspective of entrepreneurs on the ground.
This launch event features a panel discussion moderated by the report's co-authors, Dr Shonali Banerjee – Senior Research Associate, Centre for Strategic Philanthropy, and Elena Christodoulou – Visiting Associate, Cambridge Judge Business School.
• Thelma Ekiyor – Co-Founder and Managing Partner, SME.NG
• Etemore Glover – Projects Lead, The Impact Investors Foundation
• Tracey Austin – Sector Director, Financial & Professional Services, UK Department for International Trade