The Inuagural Africa Impact Summit 13-14 July 2023
The inuagural Africa Impact Summit, hosted by the GSB Bertha Centre, took place on 13-14 July 2023 in Cape Town. Speakers included GSB Dean Dr Catherine Duggan, Richard Perez of the d-school Afrika and Director of the Bertha Centre Solange Rosa. One alumnus speaking – Bridgit Evans (MBA FT 2008), Executive Director of the SAB Foundation – highlighted the need for better data with many discussions around why entrepreneurs succeed or fail at being informed by 20-year-old data from the global north. The panel discussion highlighted the challenges SMEs face in accessing finance, the importance of financial preparedness and the need for comprehensive impact assessment within the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Sophia Campello Beckwith (MBA 2016/2017) attended and wrote that key takeaways are that female entrepreneurs need more support. "As WomHub founder Naadiya Moosajee said, ‘Just write the damn check for female fund managers and female entrepreneurs!’ Women-founded start-ups raised 1.9% of all VC funds in 2022 (a drop from 2021) yet investment in start-ups with at least one female founder outperformed all-male founding teams by 63%. When considering these types of figures it becomes clear that we need more options for entrepreneurs that are women - we need to "fix the system, not the female entrepreneur," observed Aunnie Patton Power when pointing out that fast-growth, big-exit VC investment isn't the only option for female founders."
Continues Sophia, "I'm really keen to see what the future holds for impact investing in Africa, and particularly excited to see Africans leading the narrative, managing the funds, determining standards for impact measurement and realising impact - together. The Bertha Centre was one of the event sponsors, but more importantly, they were a key reason why I chose to do my MBA at the GSB. Co-founding HourlyRate.ai, an impact-focused start-up creating income opportunities for African youth, has been the culmination of the journey I started in 2016 on the GSB campus."
For more information on the summit, see their website.