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Impact Investing and Inclusive Business Development in Africa: A research agenda

Ngoasong, Michael; Paton, Rob and Korda, Alex (2015). Impact Investing and Inclusive Business Development in Africa: A research agenda. The Open University, Milton Keynes.

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Impact investing aims to create sustainable social and environmental impacts for investee enterprises and communities as well as adequate financial returns. As an attractive emerging market investment strategy, it involves development finance institutions and philanthropic foundations partnering with mainstream private venture capital to create impact funds with the goal of catalysing inclusive market-based enterprise development in low income
countries. In this paper, we present findings from a scoping study discussing the nature and operations of impact funds in African economies and the associated research opportunities on this topic. To facilitate the assessment, we reviewed the existing literature on impact investing, considering this along three interrelated perspectives, namely 1) impact investing as development finance policy for economic development, 2) impact investing as a development in socially responsible investing, and 3) impact investing as capacity-building for inclusive business development in African economies. The interplay of these perspectives shapes the constitution and operational strategies of specific impact funds and provide a conceptual context for understanding impact investing at country level.

Drawing on interviews, email exchanges and roundtable discussions with representative global and country-specific (Sierra Leone, Cameroon and Kenya) stakeholders our analysis makes three contributions to the impact investing debate. First we explore a model for understanding the ways in which impact funds are being channeled into inclusive businesses in Africa and the associated catalytic effects on poverty alleviation, social and economic development. Second we identified and tested access to, a range of impact funds and associated sector-specific inclusive businesses for future case writing – hopefully ‘failures’ as well as ‘successes’. Finally, we reflect on some of the unanswered managerial and policy-related questions that require a more rigorous inquiry-led appraisal to better understand and enhance the contribution of impact funds to inclusive business development in Africa.

Item Type: Other
Copyright Holders: 2015 The Authors
Keywords: impact investing; impact funds; bottom-of-the-pyramid markets; inclusive business development; development finance; socially responsible investment; Africa
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business > Department for Public Leadership and Social Enterprise
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business
Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Research Group: International Development & Inclusive Innovation
Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
Institute for Innovation Generation in the Life Sciences (Innogen)
Item ID: 42157
Depositing User: Michael Ngoasong
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2015 11:19
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 10:37
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