Impact Investments

“There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.”

Our Philosophy

We started our impact investing entity a few years ago because we wanted to go beyond advisory, to be directly involved in supporting impact enterprises ourselves, and helping grow some of the amazing ideas we were seeing as part of our consulting work.

Since we knew the funding space quite well, we were also aware of where the biggest gaps were. Adding to this our strong belief in the convergence of business and impact, it became clear to us which gap we should help fill: funding for early stage, high risk, for-profit social enterprises.

Since those early days we have evolved to think beyond just once-off early stage investments, and now take a more value chain and ecosystem based approach. We wanted to create a fund that was flexible, tailored, focused on innovation, and where impact would be placed first. In 2019, with guidance from extraordinary people in the field, we reaffirmed our focus on Venture Philanthropy and set course on our new strategy.

Unfortunately, the Covid-19 Pandemic and global lockdowns had a significant impact on our work. The Impact Hub, which was one of the trust’s flagship investments, was unable to keep its doors open amidst the remote engagement and work-from-home shifts.

With co-founder Lana Lovasic relocating to her homeland in Croatia, we paired the Simanye Trust down to focus on two or three long term projects in the youth development space that are ecosystem related.

Our current projects

Founded at the end of 2019 with funding from Simanye Trust to undertake some research into youth development, Lucha Lunako is our most successful impact investing start-up to date.

Lucha is a youth development lab that help build pathways to decent work through partnerships, collaboration and innovation.

Aims to address key root causes of youth unemployment through holistic people development, including a focus on maths literacy, money education, @work programmes, self employment, etc. Learn more

YoMobi™ was developed with the support of UNICEF and PwC to enhance the efforts of civil society organisations to address the youth unemployment challenge and provide young people with access to learning, opportunities and other support.

Simanye Trust has made a small
contributed to this development via the Lucha NPC and Capacitate. Learn more

The Youth Development Collaboration Lab (YD Co-Lab) is a collaborative network of organisations and individuals working to advance youth development and empowerment in South Africa.

The collective includes youth development enthusiasts, ecosystem actors, organisations and individuals committed to advancing a more effective systems response to advance the youth development agenda. Learn more

Our Funding Criteria

We focused mainly on high-risk, early stage social enterprise space. Our key funding priorities were


We are looking for totally new, different or disruptive ideas, products, service and business models. Things that others might find too risk to fund.


We mostly fund for-profits on an equity basis as this is what our focus is and what we feel the future of all business.


The greater the impact potential, and the more integrated into the business model, the more interested we are. We are also fully committed to transformation in South Africa


We mostly fund for-profits on an equity basis as this is what our focus is and what we feel the future of all business.


Since we mainly fund early stage enterprise, the team is very important to us. We look at their skills and passion, as well as their own skin in the game.

Our Impact Investments

Other projects we have supported

Our criteria for funding projects was focused mainly in a high-risk, early stage social enterprise space. Our key funding priorities were


Microfinance based organization in South Africa.

Emerging Farmers

Aggregated farming models for small holder farmers.


A project focused on researching the viability and success factors of micro- franchising models.

Mama Spices & Herbs

Healthy herbs and spices for township markets.


Asset Based Community Development focused on bottom-up, sustainable approaches.