Opportunities and Challenges for Social enterprises in East Africa

Jun 3, 2014 · London, United Kingdom
London+Acumen invite you to join us in exploring the opportunities and challenges social enterprises face to reach success in East Africa. Acumen has invested in a number of companies in the region, and our speakers will be sharing their personal experiences working there, with insight into the journey that the enterprises go through when trying to scale and maximise impact.
**The funds raised through the ticket sales will be donated to Acumen.
The evening will include:
Speaker Panel:

Sapna Shah, Acumen Portfolio Manager for East Africa
Shane Heywood, Go to Market Strategy Manager at Reckitt Beckinser, former Acumen Global Fellow
Tamsin Chislett, Partnerships Manager at Living Goods, former Acumen Global Fellow
Dylan Matthews, Allen & Overy Senior Associate 

Networking & Drinks: You will have the opportunity to speak and network with like-minded individuals across the corporate and social impact investment sectors interested in social enterprises, impact investing, and East Africa over complimentary drinks and refreshments.  
Background
“There’s so much desire, so much talent, so much money. What we don’t have is deals on the ground.” – Jacqueline Novogratz, Acumen CEO
Acumen was founded to solve exactly that problem. Our event puts into focus the investment journey, the “deals on the ground”, that go from early proof of concept stage to scale with Acumen’s investment of financial and human capital. We aim to highlight the challenges and opportunities that come up along the way through our speakers’ on-the-ground experience in the East Africa region, and the type of innovative social impact these enterprises generate.
In the past few years, social investing has gained traction as the idea of using profit-seeking investment to general social and environmental good is moving from the periphery to a more conventional investment tool. Though the exact amount of money so far in impact investing is unknown, it is estimated that by 2019 the total size of the market could be as big as $500 billion (Monitor Institute, 2009).
East Africa in particular has been of interest to investors – both socially-minded and conventional – because of the stable business environment it offers, with democratically elected governments, low inflation, and steady growth. It is the African continent’s second-largest market, with more than 100 million customers, and growing international connections (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development & International Chamber of Commerce, 2005).
Our speakers’ first-hand experience in this fast-growing region and its social investment trends will provide great insight into a constantly-evolving business landscape. Two of the speakers are alumni of the Acumen Global Fellows programme, a highly competitive 12-month leadership program where fexperienced professionals dedicated to serving the poor get an opportunity to work directly on the field with Acumen investee companies on a critical business issue facing the organisation.

For Reference:
Acumen Fund & Monitor Inclusive Markets, “From Blueprint to Scale: The Case for Philanthropy in Impact Investing"  http://www.mim.monitor.com/blueprinttoscale.html
Jacqueline quote: Taken from The Atlantic, “How Financial Innovation Can Save the World” http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/05/how-financial-innovation-can-save-the-world/257920/
Monitor Institute, “Investing for Social & Environmental Impact” http://www.monitorinstitute.com/downloads/what-we-think/impact-investing/Impact_Investing.pdf
UNCATD & ICC, “An Investment Guide to the East African Community” http://unctad.org/en/docs/iteiia20054_en.pdf
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