The and foundations have announced the inaugural cohort of (IEIF) grantees.
The fund, which is administered by the , was launched last spring to provide support to innovative organizations working to create jobs in underserved sectors, foster entrepreneurial ecosystems, and promote impact investing infrastructure on the continent. The seven recipients (and the countries in which they work) are (Senegal), which will use its grant to publish resources related to small and medium enterprise investments; (Ethiopia), which is working to develop an alternative approach for banks looking to conduct due diligence on SMEs; (Kenya), which will use its grant to support various mobile phone ventures; the (Tanzania), which will use the funds to assess the credit worthiness of underserved entrepreneurs; (Nigeria), which will scale up its "Raise Out of Poverty" bond program for smallholder farmers; the (Ghana), which will use the funds to hold educational seminars designed to raise awareness about impact investing; and (Ghana), which will use its grant to facilitate micro-investment crowdfunding efforts for start-ups.
"The IEIF grant will assist us to augment our portfolio of services with improved interventions for social enterprises and enable us increase the potential for success for start-ups that go through our incubation program," said M.Lab team leader John Kieti.
"The business ideas we received through the [IEIF application process] reflect the extensive entrepreneurial potential that exists in Africa," said Eme Essien Lore, senior associate director at the Rockefeller Foundation's Africa regional office. "Our foundation continues to believe that impact investing can transform the development landscape across the continent, and we welcome opportunities such as the IEIF to prove that."