SA’s Impact Amplifier to run investment readiness programme for eco-innovators

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South African incubator and consulting firm Impact Amplifier has opened applications for its Eco-Innovators Investment Readiness Programme, which aims to help small growing businesses to access capital.

Impact Amplifier, which was launched in 2011, describes its mission as accelerating the growth and capital provision of high impact, innovative businesses in Africa.

The five-month investment readiness programme for entrepreneurs designed by the incubator covers subjects such as building impact cases, business modelling, growth strategies, financial planning, pitching to investors, and writing an investment case.

Impact Amplifier said these subjects would provide the necessary skills and practical application for the businesses to become investment ready, which is crucial given the growth in impact investing in emerging markets.

“Although there is a growing supply of impact investment for high growth businesses in South Africa, as well as the rest of the continent, investors are confronting a range of challenges in deploying their capital,” Impact Amplifier said.

These problems include access to quality deal flow, with international investors finding it difficult to locate investment-ready deals.

“Many available opportunities are within the early stages and still require a maturation process, which is beyond the mandate of the investor or does not suit the timeframes and pressure to allocate capital,” Impact Amplifier said.

“Once a promising investment has been identified, there is still a high risk associated to it. Business support, close monitoring and risk management is lacking, which often results in investment failure.”

Impact Amplifier, which secured funding from the DOEN Foundation in March, will select up to 10 entrepreneurs with businesses in the environmental goods and services sector such as alternative energy, solid waste reuse and effluent treatment, clean water access, sustainable agriculture, and ecological building.

The programme is interested in supporting entrepreneurs with innovative products and services, who are tackling critical environmental challenges. Applications are open until November 15, with the programme commencing in late January 2016.

Impact Amplifier ran another eco-friendly programme in the form of the Green Pioneer Accelerator earlier this year, while in August it partnered Africa-centred VC and advisory firm Visions2Ventures and Entrepreneur Traction to launch the Enterprise Elevator accelerator programme, which will focus on high impact e-health startups.

Disrupt Africa reported earlier this year Impact Amplifier had catalysed over ZAR55 million (US$4.5 million) in investments into early-stage startups, and aims to close over ZAR100 million (US$8.2 million) of capital deployed in 2015.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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