Notes from a changing world...
June 2021
Making sense of Impact Investing
Impact Investing is currently on the rise in the world, everyone wants a piece of the next big thing and investors around the world are making impact investments to unleash the power of capital for good. As of 2020, the Global Impact Investing Network reported the impact investing market accounts for USD $715 billion in assets under management globally, meaning that impact investing is here to stay. However, despite the increasing interest in the sector, impact investing still faces a significant stumbling block that limits the flow of new capital into the field: not everyone agrees or even understands what “impact investing” actually is.

  1. Expectation of Financial Return: impact investors expect to earn a financial return on the capital invested, below the prevailing market rate, at the market rate or even above it. 
  2. Intentionality: in addition to a financial return, impact investors aim to achieve a positive impact on society and/or the environment.
  3. Impact Measurability: impact investors commit to measure performance using standardized metrics.

Will the rapid expansion of impact investing combined with significant confusion about how to define it mean that it’s bubble is about to burst? Stay tuned as we delve into this topic.
Aavishkaar Capital announced its first investment in Africa, Kenyan E-commerce enabling platform Sky Garden. Sky Garden helps small retailers and MSMEs in Africa access the digital economy. The company’s mobile-first platform offers these businesses a suite of plug-and-play e-commerce solutions from web-store creation, digital marketing, digital payments, working capital financing, and last-mile order fulfillment. In Kenya (Sky Garden’s primary market) although MSMEs are estimated to contribute approximately 40% of the GDP and employ over 15 million people most of these MSMEs are excluded from the digital economy. Aavishkaar Capital has backed the Sky Garden team as they have built inclusive tech tools for small businesses, catering to the needs of local brands, retailers, and small manufacturers giving them an opportunity to scale, grow and win in an increasingly digital world.
Happening in the Ecosystem
Opportunities for Entrepreneurs
ISIF Asia, a program of the APNIC Foundation, is a Grants and Awards program empowering organizations across the Asia Pacific region to research, design and implement Internet-based solutions to solve Internet development challenges that support community development and growth. Since 2008, ISIF Asia has provided 77 grants and 29 awards, allocating USD 3.58 million to 106 initiatives across 24 Asia Pacific economies. This year’s ISIF Asia program is one of the largest Internet development initiatives of its kind in the Asia Pacific and will dramatically increase funding available to eligible public and private sector, academia, non-profit and social enterprise projects with USD 1.7 million available. This new funding support from the Asia Pacific Internet Development Trust (APIDT) will expand ISIF’s Asia focus on inclusion, Internet infrastructure and knowledge. Apply Now...
A partnership programme to support organizations accelerating youth employment in Southeast Asia. Made possible by a prominent Swiss foundation specializing in youth employment, in partnership with WISE Philanthropy Advisors. Apply Now...
AVPN has launched a COVID-19 recovery fund, in partnership with KKR, the leading US Global Investment Firm, that will invest in leaders and non-profit organizations (NPOs) at the front-lines. It will provide funding to catalyze interventions, focused on the intersection of COVID-19 & youth across three key areas throughout Asia Pacific. If you support NPOs that would benefit from this funding, encourage them to apply. Apply Now...
IDEO & Gates Foundation’s Last Mile Money initiative is launching a FinTech accelerator for startups innovating around Cash-In/Cash-Out challenges in South Asia and Sub Saharan Africa. Each selected startup will receive world-class product design support from IDEO designers, network connections, and $50k USD in grant capital. Apply Now...
The Japan External Trade Organization; JETRO launched “Japan Challenge for Society 5.0-Accelerate innovation with Japan-“ contest for foreign startups interested in Japanese collaboration. They are calling for startups from all around the world with technologies and innovations that could help solve three types of social challenges in Japan to apply to this contest. The purpose of this contest is to bring about innovative solutions to challenges unique to Japan by assisting foreign entrepreneurs collaborate with Japanese counterparts. Apply Now...
Wednesday, June 30, 2021
ANDE’s Digitalization Learning Lab - First session. Powered by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, the Digitalization Learning Lab is the first of a series of global workshops, created in collaboration with Accenture that aim to facilitate knowledge and resources among professionals and assess the needs of intermediaries to help promote their digitization. Register Here:
Wednesday, July 7, 2021
Join Sahel Scholars' Conference as they discuss ‘Shaping the Future of Food in Africa: The Role of the African Youth’. Participation is free, but registration is required. Kindly register and share widely with your networks. Register Here:
The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, and The Rockefeller Foundation (RF) announced a new partnership that aims to deploy $150 million of RF’s catalytic capital in blended finance to mobilize up to $2 billion of private sector investment in distributed renewable energy solutions.
Global Impact, a leader in growing global philanthropy, announced a total of $65.3 million in charitable giving for international COVID-19 relief. Coming together through international grant-making, employee assistance programs, the Vaccine Confidence Fund, and Global Impact’s own COVID-19 Relief Fund, these funds are being distributed to address the vast international relief and recovery needs brought on by the pandemic. Read More...
Job Opportunities
Application Deadline: Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Ol Pejeta Conservancy is seeking a Conservation & Community Development Technical Specialist to join their team in providing technical support and leadership on the design and delivery of projects across the organization. This is a full-time permanent position.
Application Deadline: Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Alight seeks a Business Development and Grants Coordinator to support the development of Alight Business strategy in Uganda and to ensure coordination with the overall program development strategy. Apply Now...
The Global Development Incubator is looking to fill in various positions in their organization and their incubated initiatives. Visit their website and apply...
Gates Ventures is looking for a Women’s Health Lead to oversee efforts to understand how country policies have addressed Women’s health challenges in the past and adapt these lessons to our partners at funding organizations, NGOs, and governments. Apply Here...
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Sankalp Forum was initiated in India in 2009 by Intellecap, part of the Aavishkaar Group, to create a thriving ecosystem for business-led inclusive development. Over the past 10 years, Sankalp has built one of the world's largest impact enterprise focused platforms that has showcased and discovered 1800+ entrepreneurs, through 25 editions and has connected them to 600+ investors. Sankalp has enabled enterprises and entrepreneurs and has helped raise over USD 270 million in funding and disbursed over USD 870,000 in cash grants. Sankalp Forum engages with Governments, Corporations, influential platforms like the G8 and G20, media and civil society to drive a paradigm shift in inclusive development approaches.