Nordic Impact Funds

Investing for social impact in Africa

  • Our mission

    Our mission is to improve quality of life for low-income people in East Africa by capitalizing enterprises with a scalable and economically viable model for impact.

  • Name

Our conviction is that financially viable businesses, led by dedicated social entrepreneurs, play a crucial role in achieving self-sustained large scale and long term social impact.

These businesses offer underserved people opportunities for jobs and income, and a choice of needed services and products that improve the quality of their lives.

Our investments

Our investments prioritize social impact along with financial returns.

We believe that these twin goals can be achieved without compromising one for the other. We look at them as mutually reinforcing. The goal of providing sustainable local benefits helps to instill a high level of motivation among stakeholders. This facilitates success. Profitability on the other hand helps the social business to thrive and scale the impact it is generating. We believe that this is the most promising way to achieve impact at scale as well as long term sustainability.

Investment Criteria

  • Geography

    Located in or have significant operations or impact in East Africa

  • Sectors

    Agriculture, Education, Health, Basic Services

  • Stage

    Mid stage companies in the process of scaling - not pure start-ups

  • Size

    Seeking investment capital in the range of $1M-$5M, structured as either debt or equity

  • Management

    Strong and experienced management team. Skills, will, and vision to execute. Commitment to serve the poor and unyielding ethics

  • Impact

    Product or service that addresses a critical need for low-income people or mobilize a significant number of low-income people for jobs and income

  • Return

    Viable business model that demonstrate the potential for financial returns within a five to seven year period

  • Scale

    Clear path to scale to create impact for a significant number of low income people

Our partners

  • Lisbeth Stausholm Zacho - CEO

    - 10 years experience in international development from IMF, Worldbank and SOS Children’s Villages

    - 10 years financial experience from the Danish central bank as Head of Investments, Head of Financial Analysis & Compliance and Deputy Government Debt Manager.

    -  An expert in financial management, anti-corruption and compliance with strong experience in development programmes, health & education and impact measurement.

    - MSc in Economics from University of Copenhagen and MBA from Henley Business School

  • Humphrey Wattanga - CIO

    - 15 years of experience in structuring private equity and impact investment deals in South and East Africa.

    - An expert in innovative social finance and public private partnerships. Has structured a social impact bond on early childhood education and is lead advisor in the development of a pioneering government retail bond mobile platform for public infrastructure development. 

    -BSc from Harvard University and MBA from The Wharton School