Debate (*With Moderator)
101

Even Impact Investing Has a Diversity Problem.

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From higher COVID death rates to systemic racism-enabled police brutality, recent events have highlighted ongoing inequalities in the U.S. Referred to as a pandemic within a pandemic, anti-Blackness has reached an appalling peak in the United States.

When we pause to scrutinize, it appears that consequences of explicit and/or implicit bias may also be present in Impact Investing: ‘investments in Africa are disproportionately made into non-Black run, non-Black owned businesses.’ Hear about the challenges that Black-run businesses face in securing investments, as well as how investors can grow the pool of investible businesses.

This panel introduces a discussion of this idea led by key players from all perspectives.

Confirmed Panelists

 

Caroline Wanjiku.

Caroline Wanjiku is a social entrepreneur and philanthropist.
As the CEO of Daproim Africa Limited, Caroline established that there are very few employment opportunities for the youth and embarked on a mission to change this narrative. The Digital Campus Connect program was started with the intention of training and employing bright underserved University Students.
Being a social entrepreneur, she understands the importance of Business being good for the world and was the first Kenyan entrepreneur to enlist her organization to be part of the B Corp movement. Later Daproim Africa was recognized globally as one of the organizations creating ripples as a ChangeMaker .
Most recently Caroline has become COO of StepWise.  She lives in Nairobi, Kenya.

 

Bernard Chiira.

Chairperson ASSEK (Association of Startup and SME Enablers of Kenya) and newly appointed Director for the GDI Hub led Innovate Now, AT2030 Spark Innovation Programme in Kenya. We are building the best support system for entrepreneurs and startups in the assistive technology space to make life meaningful for millions of people across the continent and the World.

He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business and Information Technology, and a Master Degree in Mobile Telecommunication and Innovation from Strathmore University. Credentials for Venture Capital and startup ecosystem development from Stanford University.

Unconfirmed Panelists

 

Johnni Kjelsgaard

Johnni has been working with start-ups and business growth in Africa since the late 90’s as an entrepreneur, consultant, investor, advisor and mentor. He and his team have developed tools, products and services for African entrepreneurs, local businesses expanding across Africa, and international companies entering Africa. All with the objective of securing economic progress and social transformation.

Rebecca Harrison

CEO and Co-Founder of the African Management Initiative, a social enterprise that leverages technology to deliver practical, relevant and affordable management development to managers and entrepreneurs across Africa. AMI has trained over 26,000 people across 15 African countries, raised over $2.5M in investment and opened offices in Nairobi, Johannesburg and Kigali.  Clients include major foundations (Mastercard Foundation, Rockefeller), DFIs, multinationals (KLM, SC Johnson) and dozens of innovative companies across sectors and geographies.

Scott Onder

Scott Onder is the Senior Managing Director of Mercy Corps Ventures where he invests in high-impact, high-growth startups in frontier and emerging markets. Mercy Corps Ventures leverages the global reach of a leading development agency to provide early stage capital, value-added support, and catalytic partnerships so ventures can scale to positively impact millions of people.

Tony Chen

Kinyungu Ventures is an East African venture advisory firm journeying with impact-driven entrepreneurs of growing, resilient businesses solving hard problems to unlock intergenerational wealth in local communities. Based in Nairobi and Chicago, Kinyungu Ventures does three things well.

  • Context: Provide wisdom in crucial moments
  • Connects: Leverage trusted relationships
  • Capital: Invest in great businesses

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