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Social Impact and Innovation

The concept of social impact entrepreneurship, the idea of using business to solve major social and environment problems, is already gaining traction in Africa with a focus on uniquely African solutions to African problems. Africa is the continent that has the largest number of social enterprises, unfortunately often driven more by necessity than opportunity. The main purpose of these innovative social impact enterprises is to deliver public goods and improved the quality of life through responsible and socially engaged business practices.

The Bank as the center of social innovation on the continent will open a unique opportunity to leverage that convening power by bringing all relevant actors working on social impact enterprises to the Bank’s platform. Leading the dialogue on social entrepreneurship in Africa will give the Bank an important edge, profiling it as the key and catalyst institution in Africa. It will multiply opportunities to partner with others in innovative initiatives towards the common good, and bring global attention to the Bank’s powerful advocacy towards fostering more inclusive socioeconomic innovative systems that improve the quality of life of Africans.

The objective of social enterprises aligns with the Bank’s strategic direction and High 5s, in particular, Improving the Quality of Life for All Africans. The African Development Bank is dedicated to addressing all inequalities on the continent by accelerating Africa’s economic transformation to tackle social disparities specifically those faced by the most disadvantaged and vulnerable African communities. The Bank’s track record with private sector engagement and innovative approaches put it in an optimal position to play a leadership role in advancing and ensuring a growing fourth sector that the Bank can engage to deliver on the Bank’s Hi5s in Africa.