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Sekunjalo launches R500m impact fund

The Sekunjalo Investment Group is launching a R500m impact fund to boost entrepreneurship, shore up renewable energy initiatives and support women-owned businesses.
Dr Iqbal Survé, Executive Chairman of Sekunjalo and Independent Media. Picture: Ian Landsberg/Independent Media
Dr Iqbal Survé, Executive Chairman of Sekunjalo and Independent Media. Picture: Ian Landsberg/Independent Media
Details of the wholly-owned Sekunjalo Impact Fund will be announced by Dr Iqbal Survé, Executive Chairman of Sekunjalo and Independent Media on Thursday afternoon, when he hosts the annual pre-State of the Nation address (SONA) lunch.

The luncheon event is traditionally attended by cabinet ministers, captains of industry, civil society, and industry bodies.

International investors will be invited to join the fund, which is immediately seeded with R500m by Sekunjalo, and is projected to grow exponentially, and is expected to reach R2bn within a year of being launched.

Speaking ahead of the lunch event Dr Survé said that the fund will also invite local entities, including state funds like the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA), to invest. The Sekunjalo Impact Fund is also investigating creating an impact bond, similar to an RSA bond.

“The fund will be run by a management team with social impact funding experience,” Dr Survé said.

The Sekunjalo Investment Group has historically been committed to entrepreneurial and community development which has social impact, and this will be reflected in the areas selected for investment. The following categories of economic activity will be earmarked during the next five years:
  • Food and agriculture: Investing in subsistence farming through companies active in this arena;
  • Climate Change and health: Climate change impacts poor people the most, the Fund will invest in mitigating climate change using tools like renewable energy.
  • So too will climate change have an impact on the health of people;
  • Women-owned ventures because women often still battle to access funding;
  • Black Entrepreneurs and SMME development; and
  • Media and education – including films and books that foreground human rights and social inclusion.
Dr Survé said the Sekunjalo Impact Fund will be very different from other funds. “Unlike most funds the focus won’t exclusively be on financial returns, but on the social impact the individual or company makes in improving the lives of people and communities.

"There has to be a commercial return, but not as high as from stock market and private equity funds,” said Dr Survé.

The Sekunjalo Impact Fund will be run by a management team of people with social impact funding experience and will be guided by specialist advisors.

The details of the fund which will advise on criteria and application requirements will be published in due course.

9 Feb 2017 11:18

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