Alumni Involved in Social Investment Projects in Africa

December 21, 2020 9:41 am

Impact investing strives to create a net positive impact based on financial, environmental and social returns. These impacts should be intentional and measurable to be able to guarantee their positive contribution to society. Oryx Impact is an impact investing fund with a strategic focus on Africa that aims to increase livelihoods and thus reduce forced migration by focusing on economic development, job creation, mitigation of climate change and women’s empowerment. Timothy Llewellyn-Davies (MBA ‘20), an analyst at Oryx Impact, explains how it works.

“Oryx Impact’s theory of change – our mission – is that we believe that capital investments in Africa will lead to greater economic resilience and sustainable development in the region. We recognise that our investments can reduce existing global inequalities and help alleviate forced migration. In order to achieve this, we invest, through various partnerships, into enterprises that create local and regional opportunities, mitigate climate change and promote women’s empowerment, while generating attractive financial returns,” explains Timothy Llewellyn-Davies. The organisation chose to invest in Africa because it is one of the regions most affected by forced migration. At the same time, however, the continent is thriving because of its geographic scale, demographic acceleration and middle-class growth. “We want to unlock the potential of the projected $5.6 trillion in consumer and business spending in 2025 and support the world’s fastest growing middle-class, which comprises 34% of the continent’s population,” says Timothy.

The Oryx Impact Fund invests in a variety of sectors, including – but not limited to – finance, agriculture, education, clean energy, technology, healthcare and infrastructure, through partnerships with local fund managers as well as direct investments.

What value does Oryx Impact bring?

Oryx’s holistic and comprehensive selection process identifies managers with the right strategic fit and excellent track records from across the investment spectrum. Its unique strategic focus of targeting the root causes of migration by investing in local partners, in combination with its cross-disciplinary team, set the pace for an exciting, large and growing pipeline of investment opportunities.

The Oryx Impact Fund also supports the impact measurement processes of its investees by providing technical assistance.

In addition, the Oryx Impact Fund has developed an in-house impact measurement tool. Based primarily on SDG and IRIS indicators, this tool provides a set of standardised metrics that can be used to measure and describe the social, environmental and financial performance of organisations and businesses receiving impact investment capital.

“I believe change happens in a systematic way. Just like any goal you set for yourself, to achieve it you need to plan, take steps and act”

As an analyst, Timothy supports both the investment management and fundraising functions of the fund: “I’m deeply involved in the investment decision process, which includes our comprehensive due diligence. But my responsibilities are not limited. Since Oryx just started in March of this year, there are many tasks to be completed on a wide range of fronts. When working on a new company or start-up, you need to be flexible and willing to adapt to what the company needs. I like this about the work I’m doing, as it keeps things interesting and provides amazing learning opportunities.”

Timothy also is an Esade Alumni Pro Bono Consultant: “During the MBA, I had the amazing opportunity to collaborate with Esade’s University Development Service on two social consultancy projects in Kenya and Mozambique. There I was able to use my skills first-hand to make changes on the ground. I loved the work and therefore decided to continue working as a social consultant with Esade Alumni’s Pro Bono Consultants programme. From my experience, I believe change happens in a systematic way. Just like any goal you set for yourself, to achieve it you need to plan, take steps and act. You can’t change the whole world by yourself in one day, but you can be one of the levers to make the change happen, step by step.”