Intellidex Africa Impact Investment Awards

Welcome to the first annual Africa Impact Investment Awards.

Nominations are open. Submit yours now.


These awards will shine a spotlight on excellence in impact investments in Africa. 

Many African countries have made significant strides in reducing extreme poverty and hunger and in improving social conditions. Countries including Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and Mauritius have achieved stable annual GDP growth rates while instituting expansive social protection policies. Others, like South Africa, have been less successful in tackling such problems. 

Nonetheless, improvements generally come off a low base and the Covid pandemic has interrupted steady progress. Public resources have proven insufficient to ensure a decent standard of living for all. Across the continent, more resources from more stakeholders, committed in innovative ways, are needed. 

Although the movement is relatively new to our continent, there is a lot of activity as well as corresponding interest among traditional and social investors. But many actors in this space operate with limited connection to others. Similarly, except for impact investing practitioners –those actively designing, investing in or participating in impact investments and those who have an active interest in the field – knowledge is limited. This is true for stakeholders in government, civil society, the media, the broader public and the investment community. 

The awards will serve to showcase a new world of possibilities to investors that have not yet taken the step towards impact investing. This in turn could facilitate greater access to capital, particularly for smaller social enterprises. 

For a pdf copy of the nomination form in English please click here.

For a pdf copy of the nomination form in French please click here.


  • Recognise impact investing practitioners for their valuable work. 
  • Build knowledge of and interest in impact investing in diverse audiences – particularly government, the investment community, civil society and the media. 
  • Inspire those in the investment community to become more involved in the active design of and participation in impact investments. 

Guiding definitions

We use the Global Impact Investing Network’s definition of impact investments: 

“Investments made with the aim of generating positive, measured social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.” 

This excludes the following types of activities for awards consideration: 

  • Corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. 
  • Investments with potential social or environmental benefits that are not explicitly planned for and measured. 
  • Investments in social and environmental causes that do not also carry financial returns for investors. 

Award categories

1. Project of the Year
Awarded to an impact initiative that demonstrates significant potential as a viable financial investment that also meaningfully improves social and/or environmental outcomes.

2. Social Entrepreneur/Implementor of the Year
Awarded to the owner of a social enterprise, non-profit organisation or implementing partner that can demonstrate financial sustainability at the same time that the enterprise’s products and services contribute to measurable and verifiable social and/or environmental impacts. 

3. Project Developer of the Year
Awarded to entities that initiate projects and create the opportunity for social and/or environmental impact by other stakeholders.

4. Impact Financial Instrument of the Year

This award is specifically for the innovative financial instruments that form the underlying structure for impact investments. This could potentially be divided into further categories such as: 

  1. Funding instruments aimed at institutional funders; 
  2. Impact delivery instruments to separate out innovation at large scale funding level; and 
  3. innovation in lending schemes to targeted beneficiaries. 

5. Impact Asset Owner of the Year
This award recognises asset owners and investors that deploy their capital into impact investments and can include pension funds, corporations, banks, governments and development finance institutions.

6. Philanthropist of the Year
Philanthropists deploying capital in innovative ways will be recognised with this award. High net-worth individuals, trusts and foundations will be eligible for consideration.

7. Impact Asset Manager of the Year
This award is for impact-oriented investment houses placing or allocating impact capital.

8. Impact Fund of the Year
This award recognises fund managers that have a dedicated impact investment fund within their overall portfolio.

9. Impact Market Builder of the Year
Impact investments require major effort from market enablers. This award will recognise those enablers such as government departments, research firms, consulting firms, policy think-tanks or professional services companies that promote impact investments through thought leadership, project implementation and advisory work. 

10. Outstanding Individual Achievement of the Year
This award is for an individual that has made an outstanding contribution in the past year to support the growth of the impact investments.

11. Special Consideration award
This award is for achieving excellence for an impact investment achievement that falls outside the ambit of the awards categories outlined above.

Judging criteria

Each application will be fully screened by administrators to ensure that all information provided on the online application form is legitimate and can be verified. Screened applications will then be passed onto a panel of judges that will rate each application along the following criteria:
  1. Originality of design (10 points)
  2. The extent to which an unmet need is filled (10 points)
  3. Impact (30 points)
  4. Financial performance (30 points)
  5. Potential for replicability of the instrument or transferability to other sectors (20 points)

When workshopping to finalise these criteria, a key point to consider will be the extent to which projects that are still in their early stages should be considered for awards. Such projects would then be evaluated along planned impact and financial performance criteria.

Each application will be awarded a maximum of 100 points. Winners in each category will be chosen according to applications with the highest average score. 


South Africa


12 - 14 July 2023