LEAD Impact Capital (Pty) Ltd is a Cat II FSB licenced (No 50498) social impact asset manager focused on investing into new, innovative solutions for persistent problems of poverty and inequality, that old systems perpetuate and often exacerbate. LEAD is focused on building a new, inclusive, equitable, healthy and environmentally resilient world by investing both capital and capacity to socially innovative, post-seed stage, South African social entrepreneurs.
LEAD, as an asset manager, develops innovative finance mechanisms, blending capital and capacity, to build new fund management models to scale, unlisted, post revenue social enterprises. LEAD has partnered with Impact Amplifier, a social innovation acceleration and advisory firm with offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Lagos, and a footprint in 6 SADC countries.
LEAD’s unique value proposition includes that it:
- combines both capital and capacity at various stages of the investment life cycle, creating a turnkey impact investment solution.
- leverages superior deal flow at zero/low cost from the acceleration activities of Impact Amplifier across multiple programmes, and its ecosystem partners.
- amalgamates a multi-disciplinary and experienced team from both LEAD and Impact Amplifier through a unified investment process.
- has a Pan African footprint, and infrastructure to invest into other African countries, where the accelerator has staff, acceleration programmes or contracted partners.
LEAD aims to create a positive impact across multiple socio-economic and environmental dimensions. LEAD has aligned its impact intentions to specific UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) detailed below. LEAD focuses on scaling ventures that address any of the following:
- No Poverty (SDG1) – Ventures which either provide products and services to the poor, directly increase sustainable economic access to the poor;
- Zero Hunger (SDG2) – Ventures which improve nutrition, positively impact food security and/or promote sustainable agriculture on the continent;
- Good Health and Wellbeing (SDG3) – Ventures which increase the availability of new health innovations, improve health accessibility and reduce health costs;
- Quality Education (SDG4) – Ventures which improve quality education, at a low cost and increase accessibility through technology and blended learning;
- Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG6) – Ventures which provide clean, accessible and affordable water alongside adequate sanitation infrastructure;
- Affordable, clean energy and decentralised energy (SDG7) – Access of these is key to Africa’s development. Ventures which develop technological innovations, which can improve energy access through new generation or efficiency. The convergence between energy, water, and agriculture is equally of interest.
- Industry Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG9) – Critical, affordable infrastructure is a priority for Africa’s development. LEAD targets ventures which develop technological innovations which improve infrastructure, better the livelihoods of the poor, and have a positive impact on the environment.
- Reduced Inequalities (SDG10) – South Africa is one of the most unequal countries in the world, on par with countries like Haiti. Ventures in rural, peri-urban or urban centres which lift people out of poverty, and shift economic access to the poor, are a focus for LEAD
LEAD works directly with its investee’s pre-investment, to target specific IRIS metrics, which align to the broader SDGs. LEAD’s investment approach is to identify and develop entrepreneurs with the potential to be both “commercially scalable and impactful”. Our selection criteria are defined by a broad spectrum of metrics, but there are seven we focus on:
- Scalability – How large is the commercial opportunity? And how well positioned are the entrepreneurs to tackle that opportunity? Is there a significant, demonstrable margin in the business?
- Traction – Has the business demonstrated its ability to access the market, and to what scale?
- Social impact – How does the business demonstrate clear social intent, and demonstrate the improvement and wellbeing of the poor in underserved markets?
- Equity – How does the business enhance gender and racial equality and inclusivity in terms of skills, responsibility and the distribution of economic benefits?
- Environmental preservation – What will be the consequences of the business’ use of energy and water and production of waste?
- Transparency/Accountability – Within both its management practices and governance how are the issues of accountability and transparency addressed?
- Team – Does the founding team demonstrate the experience and skill set to execute on the business’s strategy, and manage people?
- Entrepreneur Wholeness – To what degree are the founders conscious and demonstrate psychological wellbeing in how they live their life?