South African entrepreneurs yesterday received a shot in the arm after Sekunjalo Investment Group committed R500 million to boost renewable energy initiatives and women-owned businesses.
Sekunjalo executive chairman Iqbal Survé said that the Sekunjalo Impact Fund would play a meaningful role in improving their quality of life.
Survé said the company had already made the amount available and extended an invitation to local and international investors to join in raising more money for the fund.
“Unlike most funds the focus won’t exclusively be on financial returns, but on the social impact the individual or company makes in improving the lives of people and communities. “There has to be a commercial return, but not as high as from the stock market and private equity funds,” Survé said.
Investment in the lucrative renewable energy industry has been a bone of contention after Eskom recently refused to sign further power purchase agreements with several independent power producers.
Survé, who was last month appointed to the Stewardship Board of the World Economic Forum’s Shaping the Future of Information and Entertainment System Initiative, said the fund would focus on empowering entrepreneurs who operate industries such as food and agriculture, climate change and health, media and education and shore up black entrepreneurs.
“The fund will be run by a management team with social impact funding experience.”