Driving Impact Investing in Sub-Saharan Africa (particularly South Africa and Zambia)
1) Deal Sourcing
2) Project Design
3) Impact Evaluation
As always, a lot hangs on the definitions above, so here is a bit of elaboration.
Deal Sourcing – A significant amount of time was invested by the founders on conducting research across Southern Africa to come up with our own opportunities for investment. We also identified many other opportunities which we have not yet funded, and might do in the future via another investment vehicle. Although we are not currently soliciting new investments, we are always happy to share our experiences and assist others who are looking to travel a similar path. Through our strong network of local contacts throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, we are presented with a steady stream of investment opportunities. We welcome any suggestions on investment opportunities from readers, who can contact us at the email address listed on this site.
Project Design - Most of this work occurs on the target investment side. When we have a project that has good potential, we often still need to redesign and repackage the opportunity to make it investment ready. If you have identified a promising investment, we can assist with designing such features as environmental remediation programmes, employee profit sharing systems, training and education programs, community building programs, and the design of innovative financial structuring that will retain or return majority ownership to local ownership or even employee ownership through a cooperative model.
Impact Evaluation - Fourth Watch and some close associates are designing social and environmental measures for our own investment deals, but are also interested in any opportunities to assist funders with designing customized measurement systems. We have the capacity to work on both design and implementation. We prefer to manage the ongoing monitoring and evaluation ourselves or through trusted associates contracted to provide such services. We are also open to discussing contracts to reliably manage monitoring and evaluation projects for impact investments that were sourced and placed by others. We provide monitoring services for financial, social, and environmental performance.
So, with all that said, it is interesting to note that our best efforts at this point are going towards designing what we feel will be very innovative impact investments. We are attempting with one of our projects to provide a template that can be followed by others, showing that it is possible to do resource extraction in a different way. Is it possible to do a mining investment with a positive triple bottom line designed right from the start? Can it be done in a way that provides a net environmental benefit? Can profits and ownership be retained within the country? Can jobs be created that live well beyond the investment lifespan? Can employees feel safe, valued, and personally connected to their employers? We hope to answer yes to these questions. Obviously here at Fourth Watch we do not shy away from a challenging project - let us know if you have such a challenge for us, and stay tuned for more information!