Prospero World’s Advisory Board Member, Mark Cheng, is the Managing Director of Ashoka, as well as Course Director of the Climate Change Program-Social Investment Accelerator. In January 2020, Ashoka and iPropeller with the support of the Flemish Department of Foreign Affairs, published Climate Solutions in Africa: A Social Investment Deal Book. Mark Cheng writes:
We are facing a climate emergency that has taken its toll on Africa: over the past 25 years, weather-related disasters like floods and droughts have doubled and four of the ten countries in the world most impacted by climate change are on the continent. Yet too little is being done, efforts to prepare for the future are underinvested and most projects still focus on mitigation rather than adaptation. Meanwhile, social entrepreneurs are forging their own paths, creating new ways to solve urgent environmental problems and engaging communities in the process. And an increasing number of companies have committed to climate change actions in Africa.
Ashoka and iPropeller, with the support of the Flemish Department of Foreign Affairs, are harnessing social entrepreneurs’ innovative spirits together with initiatives and resources from the private sector to help scale proven solutions. In January 2019, we launched a 2-year program aiming at, on one hand, providing social entrepreneurs - some of Africa’s brightest climate change fighters - with skills, resources and partnerships to put their big ideas into practice on an even bigger scale, and on the other, providing private sector players with collaboration opportunities to help them deliver on their commitments towards the SDGs, develop more inclusive business models and expand their operations in Africa. In short, we have shaped this program as an engagement opportunity for changemakers from all sectors: social entrepreneurs, business leaders, investors, climate experts and beyond.
We are honored and proud to present to you six exciting projects that are driving new solutions that are helping Africa adapt for the future, through a combination of ingenuity, dedication, and impatience for
the emergence of bold solutions for climate. For the past six months, our six entrepreneurs have been working diligently with a world-class team of business mentors to develop their business plans and funding proposals. Given the need for impact driven business models to tap into the full spectrum of social finance i.e. debt, equity, corporate sponsorship and venture philanthropy, this process has helped the entrepreneurs to determine and seek the most appropriate form of growth capital they need to succeed. Each team has a compelling proposition and a scalable and sustainable business model.
Ashoka, through our experience over 40 years of finding and helping the world’s best social entrepreneurs, has been proud to contribute our knowledge into the design of this Accelerator. Our curriculum is specially adapted for the unique challenges that social entrepreneurs face.
We hope that you enjoy meeting and learning about these entrepreneurs. We can’t wait to share with you their stories and business ideas.
Thank you for joining us on this journey!
Prospero World will be showcasing the inspirational work of these 6, outstanding projects in the coming days. Please contact us if you would like a copy of the digital book.
Photo by: @ModernDiplomavy