Barely a few months after signing the MoU between GIMPA and Venture Capital Trust Fund (VCTF) to commence the establishment of the Centre for Impact Investing in GIMPA, the centre has finally been launched. Known as the GIMPA Centre for Impact Investing (GCII), the Centre has been tasked to conduct research on impact investing in the country.
Launching it, Mr Anthony Siaw, Chief Executive Officer of Bridge Capital, explained that impact investing is investments intended to create positive impact beyond financial returns.
Mr Siaw indicated that the country’s investment market was relatively small as a result of low savings; low financial innovation, large informal market and a history of unstable economic fundamentals, thus impact investing will help in attracting local and international investors through an effective stakeholder engagement.
In his keynote address, Mr. Nii Lante Vanderpuye, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, re-affirmed government’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for investors in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector.
He said investors and private companies that have partnered the Venture Capital Trust Fund (VCTF) enjoy some form of tax incentives; and by promoting private capital into impact investing, funds will be created to invest in both new and existing businesses.
Mr. Vanderpuye was optimistic that the Centre will be the backbone for the promotion of impact investing in the country through its advocacy and research works, which will in turn, inform policy makers to design specific incentives to attract investors into the impact investing space.
He however bemoaned the myriad of social and environmental challenges currently confronting the nation and which, when addressed effectively, could positively impact the lives of the local people, adding that “graduate unemployment can be reduced when entrepreneurship and adequate financing is available to bring up entrepreneurs and SMEs.”
In brief remarks, Prof. Franklyn Achampong Manu, Rector of GIMPA, expressed satisfaction about the initiative, adding that, “Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is not on sponsoring programmes but investing in projects that would the lives of people in a positive way.”
The establishment of the centre, he noted, will address challenges in CSR in the country, as well as give guidelines to companies and institutions on the importance of new forms of CSR.
“The time is due for the academic industry to use its knowledge and expertise to help develop the country,” said Prof. Manu.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of VCTF, Mr. Daniel Duku said the partnership between GIMPA and VCTF was to establish a collaborative framework for the promotion of impact investing as a means of developing a business community of social enterprises to deal with the social and environmental challenges confronting the country.
Mr Duku said the Centre would provide a positive transformation of the country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and deliver solutions that reflect positively on the communities within which it operates.
It would be recalled that GIMPA and VCTF on May 8, 2013 signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a Centre for Impact Investing on GIMPA campus.
VCTF is a government of Ghana backed private equity initiative, established by the enactment of the VCTF Act 2004 (Act 680) to provide long-term funds as well as technical support to Small and Medium Enterprises to expand their businesses.
By Joyce Boahemaa Fosu