• 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

    Innovest achieves its mission through four distinct services:


    Advisory to Impact Funds


    - Existing Impact Investment Funds

    - New Impact Fund Concepts


    - Impact Theory of Change and impact investment thesis development

    - Impact Management framework development including impact metrics

    - Impact sourcing, screening, due diligence

    - Establishing impact targets

    - Embedding of impact commitments

    - Impact Measurement + Reporting

    - Funder engagement

    - Design of Technical Assistance services

    - Project Management


    Private Wealth


    - Private wealth advisors, family offices, foundations, Ultra-High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWs)


    - Impact Strategy development

    - Impact Theory of Change and impact investment thesis development

    - Research, analysis, case studies and information services

    - Impact Measurement, evaluation and monitoring

    - Project Management

    - Philanthropy and Impact education and awareness raising


    Purpose-Driven Companies


    - Developing country based purpose driven companies including start-ups, established social enterprises and multinational companies


    - Impact Theory of Change to align social purpose with commercial requirements

    - Impact Management framework development including impact metrics

    - Donor and strategic partner engagement

    - Strategic Communication

    - Impact Measurement + Reporting

    - Investment readiness support

    - Introductions to impact funders

    - Project Management


    Development Consultancy


    - Strategic Partnering on development projects with multilateral and bilateral development agencies and INGOs


    - Project concept design, project management

    - Research, analysis and studies to advance knowledge base of market-led solutions to critical development issues

    - Impact Measurement

    - Knowledge sharing and dissemination

  • 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 $60 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 economy. 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. Innovest will also develop the technical assistance program for the fund.

    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 address protracted displacement crisis, through its investments the fund aims to increase stability and integration of displaced people via financial inclusion. The fund will also invest in SMEs that create inclusive employment for the displaced and host communities. Building on its experience in catalysing market-based initiatives that stimulate sustainable livelihood opportunities for displaced populations, Innovest Advisory is engaged as the displacement impact advisor to the fund including developing the impact theory of change, establishing the country selection framework based on displacement factors, impact due diligence on pipeline companies and impact measurement. Innovest will also act as the project manager of the proposed sidecar, grant funded Technical Assistance Facility that will provide displacement specific capacity building support to the investee companies.

  • 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 funding in 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 an impact portfolio by the Trustees for which Innovest will provide on-going social impact monitoring and reporting services.

    Private Wealth Network Building

    In addition to its client mandates Innovest is engaging with STEP to develop its impact focused content including keynote presentation on impact investing at the 2019 STEP Guernsey AGM. Other private wealth networks we have engaged with include ESAFON, The Swiss Impact Investing Network, Oxford Said Impact Programme, Guernsey and Jersey Finance, Guernsey and Jersey Association of Trusts, Philanthropy Impact, Acumen and Business Fights Poverty.

  • Examples of our work with Purpose Driven Companies

    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 struck 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. is the only commercial juicing company operating in Sierra Leone and exports tropical fruit to EU and North American Markets. It sources its produce from more than 3,500 smallholder farmers with a model that prioritises training, capacity building and premium payments for farmers. 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

    Responsible Mining Initiative: Levin Sources

    Levin Sources is a UK based consultancy and social venture that builds sustainable, valuable and equitable minerals sectors. We are collaborating with them to support a range of responsible mining initiatives, primarily in Africa. These efforts include:

    - Supporting social-purpose ventures and governments in realising their ambitions to create a responsible mining and trading model that tackles the social, environmental and economic challenges in the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector.

    - Supporting larger mineral actors and mining communities in developing and implementing innovative approaches to community development through funding, to make long term investments which can catalyse sustainable, diversified economic investment.

    - Catalysing impact funding, including investment and donor funding, for business growth as well as for the technical assistance and capacity-building needs of these projects.

    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 development agency, seed capital raising and the support to technology platform vendor selection.

  • 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 through Economic Diversification Fund

    Innovest is serving as the impact advisor to USD $25+ million fund focused on economic diversification and job creation in mine communities in Ghana. The fund seeks to re-orientate their substantial community development funds in Ghana away from CSR type projects towards investment to seed, attract or scale businesses that will stimulate economic diversification and new job creation in the mining communities. The long term goal of the 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, ensuring no net-job loss and decline in community income post mine closure. Based on this work Innovest is exploring expanding this community impact fund model across other mining operations in South America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

  • 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



    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 is an analyst for Innovest, who leads the research, analysis and drafting of reports to inform advisory engagements. He also oversees Innovest’s impact measurement and management services.


    Previously, Charlie worked for the UK Government’s Low Pay Commission, where he provided statistical evidence for their National Minimum Wage report, while he has also held a variety of finance and non-profit sector roles.


    Charlie holds an Msc in Development Economics from the University of Sussex, where he specialised in climate change and migration.


    Charlie on LinkedIn >




    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 >

    Ali Buckland

    Administration and Communications Officer

    Ali is a graduate of Leiden University, having studied BA International Studies specialising in the developing region of South Asia. Ali has spent time studying in Pune, India with a particular focus on the experience of women within the political, economic and cultural space of India.


    Ali has experience working in both the private and public sector in Guernsey, the Netherlands and non-profit organisations in India.


    Ali supports the Innovest team in Guernsey in various capacities including project coordination, communication and client support.


    Ali on Linkedin >

    Philip Faure


    Philip has worked in the investment, wealth management and banking industry for over 25 years, both as advisor, and leading a team of advisors to ultra- HNWIs, Family Offices, Trusts and Foundations. Over the last 10 years he has invested an increasing amount of his time in philanthropic work, with a growing passion to apply his finance related skills to solve global social and environmental challenges. He built the first ever Donor-advised fund in Africa for a South African Wealth Management business, produced a research report on Philanthropy in South Africa, is a founder member and trustee of two Foundations, in education and small business development, for the largest bank in Africa. Philip has a particular interest in financial and impact related technology, with a focus on the efficient allocation of capital, objective advice and guidance, and maximising both investment and social return on capital. He also currently serves as a Non-Executive Director and Trustee on a number of companies, trusts and philanthropic initiatives. Philip leads Innovest's private client engagement work focussing on philanthropy and impact investment advisory.


    Philip on Linkedin >

    Nele Bhebhe

    Non-Executive Director

    British and Zimbabwean national, born in Zimbabwe and educated in Scotland at the University of Edinburgh law school. Nele trained as a commercial lawyer with a silver circle law firm and now specialises in private equity, structured finance and general corporate and commercial law with an offshore magic circle law firm. He has a strong professional interest in impact investing and 're-purposing offshore capital' towards impact investments in Africa. Nele has been involved in the design and execution of a number of impact investment corporate transactions and structuring in the African Agribusiness sector as well as being a founder of two African owned and operated social enterprises - one a specialist trade finance house for African agribusiness SMEs called Genesis and the other Moolah! a FinTech solution to support access to finance for Dairy farmers in Kenya. Nele also holds a Lean Six Sigma Leadership qualification from the University of Oxford and a Social Sciences (Hons) degree from Edinburgh Napier University.


    Nele on Linkedin >

  • 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.

    Reuben Coulter Associate

    Reuben Coulter is a Partner at Ignis Advisory, a social innovation and strategy consultancy. He acts as advisor and non-executive director to organisations including Bristol City Funds, Angello and Sovereign's Capital. Prior to this he was CEO of Transformational Business Network, a global impact investment network and a Fellow and Associate Director for Africa at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. He was also the founding CEO of Tearfund Ireland, an international development organisation and Chair of the Irish Humanitarian Committee. He completed an Executive Masters in Leadership with Wharton, Colombia, London and INSEAD Business Schools and a Masters in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

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  • 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.

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