The RISA Fund, a project of the UK International Development supports the Scaling of Research & Innovation Financing in Ghana and Nigeria with over US$1m Impact Investing Ghana May 7, 2024

The RISA Fund, a project of the UK International Development supports the Scaling of Research & Innovation Financing in Ghana and Nigeria with over US$1m

A team of The RISA Fund officials visits the IIGH office in Accra, Ghana.

Impact Investing Ghana (IIGh) and Impact Investors Foundation (IIF) Nigeria, have received a US$545,256 additional grant funding from The Research and Innovation Systems for Africa (RISA) Fund to scale sustainable systems for enterprise and innovation financing across Ghana and Nigeria through the Deal Source Africa and Enterprise Support Organisation programs as part of the second phase of RISA Fund’s Scaling Systems for Research & Innovation Financing (SSRIF II). This brings the total grants from the RISA Fund to Impact Investing Ghana to US$1,079,602. 

This landmark partnership builds on the excellent south-south collaboration between Ghana and Nigeria and is a significant milestone in IIGh and IIF’s unwavering commitment to mobilizing financial resources to enterprises with viable business models in Africa by strengthening their capacity to attract impact capital.

Both Nigeria and Ghana face challenges in providing innovative ventures with adequate access to patient capital as an estimated $5 billion financing gap exists annually for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana, and a staggering $32.2 billion for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria. The lack of a robust pipeline of investment-ready businesses stems from the inadequate capacity and inconsistent quality of Enterprise Support Organizations (ESOs). Additionally, there is a scarcity of transaction advisory services and efficient channels to connect businesses to investors.

This also builds on the successes of initial grants awarded to IIGh in 2021 and 2022, which led to the creation of Deal Source Africa, the Ghana Enterprise Support Organisations Collaborative, the Ghana Research Industry Collaborative and the design and setup of the Ci-Gaba Fund of Funds. The SSRIF II project aims to transform the innovation and financing ecosystem and deepen progress made to unlock and build sustainable financing for enterprise support organizations and innovation funds.

Amma Lartey, CEO of Impact Investing Ghana said, “We have been collaborating with Nigeria for many years with strong impact including the highly subscribed West Africa Deal Summit in 2023. This funding enables us to accelerate and scale that impact to transform millions of lives across Ghana and Nigeria”.

The CEO of Impact Investors Foundation, Nigeria, Etemore Glover said, “We are excited to collaborate with Impact Investing Ghana on the SSRIF II project. This initiative is a resounding affirmation of our unwavering dedication to reducing impact investment barriers and advancing social investments for inclusive economic growth through research, innovation, and sustainable investments.”

Mark Lawler, Team Lead of The RISA Fund, said “we are particularly excited to support this home-grown partnership between leaders in the impact investing space in Ghana and Nigeria – who are seizing the opportunity to collaborate, combine and scale their efforts to leverage financing and create new opportunities for startups and SMEs in the two countries – and perhaps eventually beyond.

About Impact Investing Ghana 

Impact Investing Ghana (IIGh) is the Ghana National Advisory Board for Impact Investing. We are an independent private-sector-led initiative promoting sustainable development and advancing the development of the impact investment ecosystem in Ghana. IIGh is Ghana’s representative to the Global Steering Group (GSG) for Impact Investing and a member of the Africa Impact Investing Group.  IIGh is supporting the growth of impact ventures and catalyzing $ 1 billion in impact funds for investment in Ghana and the West African sub-region. Find more here

About Impact Investors Foundation 

The Impact Investors Foundation (IIF) engages and collaborates with key stakeholders, active in the impact investing space, to unlock private capital for social investments in Nigeria. IIF’s overarching goal is to promote the growth and excellence of impact investing in Nigeria. In the last 5 years, IIF has been playing a leading role in the impact investing ecosystem in Nigeria by convening stakeholders in government, private and social sectors to advance its growth. In furtherance of its effort to accelerate the market potential, the IIF established the Nigerian National Advisory Board for Impact Investing (NABII). The role of the NABII is to design and implement national strategies, regulations and policies that address the barriers inhibiting the growth of impact investing while unlocking opportunities for more impactful investments.

About The RISA FUND 

The goal of The Research and Innovation Systems for Africa (RISA) Fund from UK International Development is to enhance and support the R&I systems in the following six nations: South Africa, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Kenya. The UK International Development provides funding for the programme, which runs from 2021 to 2025. African institutions addressing the most difficult social, economic, and health issues on the continent are receiving support from the RISA Fund. The Fund partners with research institutions, think tanks, universities, private sector organisations, and international and national NGOs. By building sustainable partnerships, and through its grants, the RISA Fund supports these institutions to access the knowledge, partners, investors, and markets they need to generate actionable research and influence policy.

About Deal Source Africa 

Deal Source Africa is a comprehensive program to connect African businesses with investors and transaction advisors and African Impact Funds with investors. It comprises a digital platform that connects investors with businesses, in-person and virtual Deal Rooms where businesses can meet investors, and Impact Fund Showcases where investors can meet African venture funds and other local capital providers. Businesses and funds can sign up at to access the platform which was developed with funding from the Research and Innovation Systems for Africa (RISA) Fund of UK International Development and piloted in 2022.

About the ESO Collaborative 

The establishment of the Enterprise Support Organisation (ESO) Collaborative aimed to improve both the quantity and quality of enterprise support initiatives in Ghana. It facilitates collaboration between the government, other ESOs, and the Ghana Hubs Network. It has introduced a digital portal to make it simple for businesses to locate any ESO programme in Ghana. It is also employing the use of the SCALE tool to execute a quality improvement programme for ESOs. Businesses and ESOs can sign up here for opportunities: Based on the success and learnings from the Ghana ESO Collaborative,  the Nigeria ESO Collaborative is being set up with similar goals for impact enterprises in Nigeria.