•  

     

  • Who We Are

    Innovest is a development consultancy which focuses on job creation, financial inclusion and local economic development in frontier markets.

     

    Innovest seeks to unleash the power of public and private capital to address some of the world’s most challenging issues such as financial inclusion, clean water, energy access and displacement.

     

    Innovest advises public and private impact partners and social impact initiatives to help them deliver innovative and sustainable market-based solutions to these critical development challenges.

  •  

    "It always seems impossible,

    until it is done."

     

     

     

    Nelson Mandela

  • How We Work

    We provide advisory and project management services to support the creation and scaling of development projects. This work includes the engagement of public and private stakeholders who are seeking to contribute funding (grants and development financing) and capabilities to achieve agreed development outcomes.

     

    At the core of Innovest’s work is supporting partners to create sustainable jobs in developing and fragile contexts by applying innovative financing and development tools and leveraging the know-how, capabilities and funding from across the public and private ecosystems.

     

    Our work covers the following key impact sectors:

    financial inclusion, agribusiness, education, healthcare, energy access and displacement

  • Our Services

    1

    Impact Funds

    - Impact advisory to new impact fund concepts

    - Impact strategy /theory of change development

    - Funder engagement

    - Design of technical assistance services

    - Project management

    - Impact measurement

    2

    Development Consultancy

    - Strategy advisory on innovative finance and livelihoods initiatives

    - Production of reports, studies and analysis

    - Project concept design

    - Project management

    - Impact measurement

    3

    Impact Enterprises

    - Strategy advisory on social impact business models 

    - Donor and strategic partner engagement

    - Investment readiness support

    - Project management

    - Impact measurement

    - Support to communicating impact

    4

    Philanthropic and Impact Advisory

    - Provision of social impact information and project management services to private client representatives (Family Office, Foundation, Trustee etc.)

    - Impact strategy /theory of change development

    - Research, case studies and information services

    - Project management

    - Impact measurement

  • Examples of our work with Impact Funds

    Supporting the Development of a Women’s Economic Opportunity Fund

    Innovest Advisory is helping a successful entrepreneur and investor in their ambitions to set up $50 million first-time impact fund that will catalyse economic opportunity for women in sub Saharan Africa. The fund will invest in start-ups and SMEs which support both job creation and women's economic empowerment. Key target sectors of the fund include WASH services, agriculture, consumer goods and technology as well as other labour intensive sectors of the eocnomy. Innovest is providing a full suite of advisory services to the client including support fund conceptualisation, development of the theory of change, investment thesis and impact measurement framework and metrics around women’s economic empowerment.

    Supporting the development of a Displacement Fund

    Innovest Advisory is supporting a new displacement focussed fund coming to market in partnership with a leading emerging markets private equity fund manager. This $50 million pilot fund will seek to support refugee and migrant livelihoods through investments in displacement inclusive financial inclusion and operating companies in countries with significant displaced populations. Building on its experience in catalysing market-based initiatives that stimulate sustainable livelihood opportunities for displaced populations, Innovest Advisory is providing the subject matter expertise to the fund manager as their Impact Advisor. Innovest will also serve as the manager of the proposed sidecar, grant funded Technical Assistance Facility that will provide displacement specific capacity building support to the investee companies.

  • Examples of Development Consultancy work

    African Development Finance Institutions to Support Youth Livelihoods through a Pan-Africa Fund

    Innovest Advisory has recently provided advice to the African Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) and African Development Bank on the design of a proposed Youth Enterprise Fund for Fragile States in Africa. The $100m Fund seeks to provide increased access to sustainable employment for youth through financing established and expanding agri-businesses in post conflict or fragile states and regions. Innovest advised on a range of fund structuring options, theory of change and investment thesis, potential investee pipeline, investor relations and impact framework development.

    Multinational Mining Company Seeks to Create Sustainable Livelihoods

    Innovest Advisory is advising a leading global mining company on improving the social and economic outcomes of its community investment strategy in Ghana. This project seeks to leverage the company’s substantial community development funds for local impact investing in Ghana with the twin objectives of job creation and sustainable returns for the CDFs in order to diversify the local economy and stimulate new job creation. The long-term goal of this project is to mitigate any negative economic impact of the mine closures as their life span comes to an end in the next 10 years with the ideal outcome of ensuring no net-job loss and decline in community income post mine closure. Innovest is contributing to strategic design, programme management, opportunity sourcing, impact due diligence and post investment monitoring, reporting and evaluation.​

  • Examples of our work with Impact Enterprises

    Building Rural Livelihoods Through Agribusiness is Post-Ebola Sierra Leone

    Sierra Leone is widely considered to be one of the poorest countries in the world by any measurement, especially after being plagued by the Ebola crisis. There has been a tremendous loss of employment and income, and an abandonment of agricultural activities, which pre-Ebola, accounted for 45% of the country's GDP. Since the end of the crisis, the economy has begun to recover. However, its agricultural sector and wider economy is in need of drastic rebuilding. Our client,  Sierra Agra Inc. has acquired a 21,500 sq. ft. agricultural processing facility in the first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) near Freetown. Innovest Advisory is supporting them in their objectives of generating 10,000 tons of processed fruit products annually, from 10,000 acres of land via a multi-crop, year-round harvest, which intends to provide sustainable livelihoods to 10,000 smallholder farmers.

    Pawame: Lighting up Refugee Camps

    Innovest Advisory is providing investment readiness and investor linkage services to Pawame a start-up off-grid solar company operating in the Kenyan market. The client specialises in the provision of affordable, clean and reliable Solar Home Systems (SHS) to both Kenyan nationals in Turkana county in Kenya and to refugees in UNHCR’s Kakuma Refugee camp. This project has deployed to over 3,000 households in their first year of operation (2017) including 75 refugee households (300 beneficiaries) supported in Kakuma camp. Innovest is also facilitating market entry for the company into Somalia through a joint venture with a Somali financial institution (KIMS Microfinance) with grant funding from a couple of private foundations

    Rise Finance

    Innovest Advisory is providing assistance to the start-up of an innovative new digital financial platform for vulnerable but economically active populations in Uganda. This platform builds off the work of a UK charity who have served over 30,000 beneficiaries via the model of village savings and loans groups. The client is now looking to grow their social impact by empowering the unbanked through a graduation process from informal community finance. Innovest is supporting this start-up by advising on business start-up and incorporation, the securing of grant based technical assistance from bilateral and multilateral developments agency, seed capital raising and the support to technology platform vendor selection.

  • Examples of our work with Private Wealth Advisors

    UK-Based Family Trust Enhances their Global Impact

    Innovest Advisory is currently advising a trust company, enabling them to respond to the social impact aspirations of one of their family trust clients. After determining the clients needs in partnership with the Trustees, Innovest Advisory developed an impact strategy, which included an evaluation of the social and environmental impact performance of their existing portfolios, allowing them to deepen the impact and intentionality of their existing portfolios. The Trust has deployed approximately £3 million so far into a range of investments including financial inclusion and SME development in Africa with Innovest providing ongoing monitoring, evaluation and reporting services to the client.

    European Family Trust

    Innovest has just completed the first phase of a project with a Swiss based family trust of prominent European family which focussed on the development of an impact investment portfolio for a next-generation member of the family. This involved impact investment focussed research, sourcing, screening of sample investments against the impact investment guidelines agreed with the Trustees, engagement with investor relations leads at the prospect investments and generating of reports for the consideration of the Trustees and the family. This has led to the successful deployment of a $2 million impact portfolio by the Trustees for which Innovest will provide on-going social impact monitoring and reporting services

  • The Sustainable

    Development Goals

    Innovest Advisory is guided by UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in its engagement with funders and social enterprise clients. The Goals allow our clients to identify what impact they wish to create and serve as a framework to develop bespoke impact measurement and reporting tools.

  • The Innovest Team

    We are a team of impact specialists dedicated to harnessing the potential of capital to address development challenges

    Justin

    Sykes

    Founder and CEO

    Justin is a social investment specialist with over 18 years experience in supporting the deployment of private capital to create more and better jobs for vulnerable populations, often in fragile contexts in Africa and the Middle East .

     

    His wide-spanning career history has included working for INGOs, the United Nations and a major Middle Eastern private foundation. He serves as a board member and adviser to a number of microfinance institutions and international charities engaged in supporting the livelihoods of low income communities. He is a non-executive director of a market leading impact investment fund.

     

    Justin on LinkedIn >

    Charlie

    Denton

    Analyst

    Charlie is a Masters’ graduate from the University of Sussex, where he studied an MSc in Development Economics. Charlie specialises in economic and statistical analysis as well as a subject matter focus on climate change and migration.

     

    Charlie’s wide-ranging career experience includes placements working in compliance, investment, government and the non-profit sector.

     

    At Innovest Charlie's role focuses on research, analysis and drafting for publications. Charlie also supports the firms impact measurement services and leads the communications and social media work streams.

     

    Charlie on LinkedIn >

    Michelle

    McMahon

    Counsel

    Michelle is a US lawyer with 25 years of legal, corporate finance and fiduciary experience. She was Senior Partner of a US law firm, specialising in corporate finance transactions, and chief executive of the Jersey, UK subsidiary of a global financial services firm for capital markets clients. Michelle has served as an advisor and fiduciary of non-profits and social finance initiatives, primarily focused on education and children.
     

    In 2016 Michelle joined Innovest Advisory to draw on her experience to facilitate the strategic deployment of philanthropic and social investment capital to achieve social change.

     

    Michelle on LinkedIn >

    Matthew

    Crosby

    Research Fellow

    Matt is a Masters' graduate from the School of Oriental and African Studies in Lonon, where he studied an MSc in Development Economics.

     

    Matt has a strong research focus on frontier states and their political economy with the Middle East, with a particular focus on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

     

    In addition, Matt has experience with NGO's in both Jersey and South Africa.

     

    Matt provides research and analysis support to Innovest.

     

    Matt on LinkedIn >

  • Innovest in Action

    Sierra Agra, based outside of Freetown, Sierra Leone, is the country’s only juice processing...
    Innovest partner Pawame Solar, which provides off-grid solar home systems to refugees and the...
    Insurance technology (InsurTech), a new sector in the global startup scene, is attracting a...
    Innovest Advisory was a key contributor to a new publication by Business Fights Poverty on the...
    Innovest Advisory partner KIMS Microfinance, features in Inside Arabia article on microfinance in...
    Innovest attended the annual meeting of the Tent Partnership for Refugees in New York on the...
    Innovest Advisory will speak this month to an audience of civil servants, business leaders and...
    Innovest Advisory will be joining this years Business Fights Poverty conference in Oxford. ...
    Innovest Advisory is delighted to announce its partnership with the Tent Foundation. The Tent...
    As part of Innovest's quest to support #Refugees, we are a content creation partner for the...
    June 19, 2018
    Innovest stands #WithRefugees today on World Refugee Day. Today is a day on which we commemorate...
    More Posts
  • Invite Innovest Advisory

    Introduce impact investing to your event, firm or family office by inviting a speaker from Innovest Advisory.

  • Associates

    In the delivery of its advisory services Innovest draws on a broad network of associates who are industry experts, regional specialists and subject matter leads. A sample of IA's associates are listed below.

    Dr. Ben Taylor Senior Associate

    Ben is global leader in market systems development in Fragile/Conflict States. He has 20 plus years of experience in the design and delivery of livelihood programming focusing on displaced and other disadvantaged populations for bilateral and multilateral donors including DFID, USAID, SIDA, CGAP, Mercy Corps and the World Bank. Ben has deep African and South Asia/South-East Asian field experience including in FCAS. He has 15 years’ experience living and working in Ethiopia.

    Jo McDonnell Associate

    Jo is an expert on displacement issues with 12+ years experience in sustainable business, impact investing and philanthropy. She has considerable project management and monitoring and evaluation experience including for UK DFID and the Green Climate Fund. Field experience in Africa and South America have allowed her to develop a close understanding of how these skills can be best applied to development including the displacement contexts.

    Lee Sorensen Senior Associate

    Lee is an experienced life-long entrepreneur/business owner, impact investment and development professional having created and led multiple companies, impact investment funds, diaspora investment funds, renewable energy development projects/fund, investment/development forums, and private sector growth for job creation initiatives. His particular focus and expertise is on migration, diaspora/impact investment, renewable energy and human capital development in fragile contexts.

    Dr. Atef Shabrawy Senior Associate

    Atef is a global social entrepreneurship and innovation leader with over 20 years of experience. Atef has a diverse experience including working for Governments,Banks, the United Nations and a private foundation. Atef has lead a number of high profile islamic impact investment projects including serving as the founding CEO of Family Bank, the first Islamic microfinance bank in the Middle East, setting up the Micro-start Islamic microfinance project in Bahrain, supporting the conversation of of Zaman Bank in Kazakhstan into an Islamic Bank and heading up the Egyptian SME and Social Enterprise Incubator association in Egypt.

  • Market-based solutions for Displaced People

    Supporting Sustainable Livelihoods for Displaced People - the Horn of Africa

    Innovest has supported the creation and launch of KIMS Microfinance, privately owned Microfinance institution serving the Horn of Africa region. Innovest has provided a full suite of services to KIMS, including long-term consultancy support to business plan development, human resource development, product development, social impact measurement, fundraising, and strategic partnership development. Key aspects of this support have included raising over $4 million in donor impact investor funding, designing and piloting of innovative financial services including a refugee returnee start-up business scheme, a fisheries value-chain project and pilot scheme for the sale and financing of solar systems for micro-entrepreneurs. Innovest is currently supporting the design and implementation of funding structures in Mauritius and Kenya with support from the African Local Currency Bond Fund in order to facilitate fund raising efforts from Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), foundations and impact investment funds.

     

    Read more about Innovest's Support for Refugee Livelihoods >

    Global Foundations Focusing on Market-Based Solutions to Refugees

    Innovest Advisory is supporting a consortium of foundations and networks including the Refugee Investment Network, Tent Foundation, the Alight Fund and Soros Economic Development Fund on the sourcing and curation of commercially viable investments which can demonstrate clear positive outcomes for refugees and migrants. Support includes investment readiness for impact initiatives, sourcing technical assistance, credit enhancement and public and private engagement with host country actors, diaspora, development institutions, INGOs and NGOs, UN, World Bank and other aid agencies, project management, impact monitoring, evaluation and reporting, and knowledge sharing on best practices. Initiatives under development include a trade facilitation platform for refugee inclusive exporting businesses; financing and supply chain linkages for a consortium of Syrian businesses re-established in Turkey and support to the expansion of an ethical manpower companies for vulnerable migrant and refugee populations.

    Supporting the development of a Global Displacement Fund

    Innovest Advisory is supporting a new displacement focussed fund coming to market in 2019 in partnership with a leading emerging markets private equity fund manager. This $50 million pilot fund will seek to support refugee and migrant livelihoods through investments in displacement inclusive financial inclusion and operating companies in countries with significant displaced populations. Building on its experience in catalysing market-based initiatives that stimulate sustainable livelihood opportunities for displaced populations, Innovest Advisory is providing the subject matter expertise to the fund manager as their Impact Advisor. Innovest will also serve as the manager of the proposed sidecar, grant funded Technical Assistance Facility that will provide displacement specific capacity building support to the investee companies.

  • Contact us

    Get in touch and tell us your story

    Maison Allaire,
    Smith Street,
    Guernsey
    +44(0)1481 715507
All Posts
×