Sterling One Foundation To Empower Social Entrepreneurs At ASIS

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Young Africans running impact-driven businesses targeted at solving key African challenges have received a boost following the announcement of a scale-up funding opportunity at the Africa Social Impact Summit (ASIS), slated to hold on July 14, 2022, in Abuja, Nigeria.

The platform, which will give ten finalists a chance to pitch their solutions to a selected group of Africa-focused investors, is in line with the Summit’s goal of harnessing ideas and boosting solutions capable of accelerating growth in Africa.

The Africa Social Impact Summit is a 2-day event that collaboratively brings together players in the African civil society space, the private sector, and the public sector to share ideas, learnings, plans, and practical solutions to ensure the holistic achievement of Sustainable Development Goals in Africa. With a focus on climate action, education, health, agriculture, circular economy, and women empowerment, the summit aims to provide opportunities for impact investors to scale market-led solutions which have the potential for long-term impact.

To achieve this, the Summit plans to host a deal room where shortlisted entrepreneurs will pitch their businesses to investors, answer questions about their operating models, and get constructive feedback from the investors that can help them better execute their ideas.

Breaking down the process of the Deal Room sessions, Etemore Glover, Projects Lead for Impact Investors Foundation, implementing partners for the Deal Room, stated that the opportunity is targeted at businesses that are currently running and have shown potential to effectively tackle some of the challenges the continent faces in a manner that brings prosperity to all.

“Access to the right type of capital is a huge challenge for impact-oriented enterprises across the continent. Impact investments are able to deliver measurable social and environmental impact alongside financial returns in our economies. Hence, we are looking for social entrepreneurs who are running commercially viable businesses that deliver profit as well as social and environmental impact to apply for the program. We want solutions that can scale from community to community, enriching lives as they go,” she added.

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Speaking on behalf of the host organization, Sterling One Foundation, CEO of the Foundation, Olapeju Ibekwe highlighted that a better framework for sustainable financing is one of the keys expected outcomes from the Summit, and the Deal Room is a snapshot into how the framework will function.

“The Deal Room session will show the different players exactly how homegrown solutions can be backed with impact investment and the right partnerships to help our continent recover from the negative effects of COVID-19 and continue to grow”, she said.

The Summit is supported by other partners including The Coca-Cola Company, the United Nations Global Compact Network Nigeria, Sterling Bank, Nigeria Climate Innovation Centre, and Proshare.

Entrepreneurs who wish to apply for the Deal Room must have been running their businesses for at least 1 year, and meet other eligibility criteria as stated on the application portal – www.theimpactsummit.org/dealroom

Sterling One Foundation

Sterling One Foundation is driven by the unique challenges facing Africa and the need for progressive change. The Foundation is committed to being the benchmark of positive social impact in Nigeria by creating sustainable solutions for youth empowerment and job creation via five impactful sectors which are Education, Food security, Climate Action, Gender Equality, and Health.

Impact Investors Foundation

The Impact Investors Foundation (IIF) is an alliance consisting of the Bank of Industry (BOI), African Capital Alliance (ACA), BusinessDay Media Ltd, Ford Foundation, and Dalberg Advisors. The mission of the Foundation is to eliminate the barriers to social impact investing in Nigeria by building an effective and supportive ecosystem through critical stakeholders’ convenings, facilitation of knowledge exchange and deal flows, capacity building, generating evidence of what works, mainstreaming innovative investment approaches and collective action.