Our Past Work

Since 2011 we have been identifying the gaps between what we need to do, and what we can do, and innovating to fill them. We have had a number of notable successes including:

  • Development of the tools and metrics to facilitate social investment and the creation of the South African Social Investment Exchange (SASIX) including developing a white-label technology platform and course material for training and evaluation.
  • Translation of the SASIX tools and research and evaluation process into the online system for use by Corporate Social Investment programmes.
  • Research and tool design to assess the nature and requirements of an SME debt fund to increase access to affordable capital by non-bank financial intermediaries addressing barriers to investment for sustainable development.
  • Scoping and supporting the establishment, strategic orientation and social investment policies and processes of the Impala Bafokeng Trust for Royal Bafokeng Holdings, subsequently the world's largest black community-owned investment company with dividend flows to community development initiatives.
  • Leading research engaging a multinational network of practitioners and academics in the SME and social enterprise sectors that influenced national policy and budgets.
  • Designing innovative social finance vehicles customized social impact strategies for major funds to grow the first unlisted impact investment offerings in South Africa engaging pension funds at some scale and increasing flows of capital to high impact social transformation and development priorities.
  • Leading a global feasibility study for a social stock exchange in collaboration with the Rockefeller Foundation, Bellagio Centre, World Federation of Exchanges, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and the Stock Exchange of Mauritius culminating in support for the creation of similar platforms in Canda, Colombia, Singapore and Kenya and establishing and obtaining FSC regulatory approval for the world’s first regulated impact investment exchange board – the Impact Exchange (iX).
  • Setting new industry standards for impact investment measurement and reporting by developing accreditation frameworks and accrediting impact representatives with the Stock Exchange of Mauritius.
  • Development of accredited course material in collaboration with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, SA to further youth leadership development in sustainability practice and ecological citizenship. Testing and scaling programme delivery through a gifting model that also created three new social ventures in the UK and South Africa: Routes to Resilience, Sustainability Matter and, EcoVida Routes.

Below you can discover some examples of the work we have undertaken with partners to help drive their impact and a more sustainable future.


Conversations at the Crossroads

Engaging with provocative perspectives that advance awkward questions at the Covid crossroads and offering an accessible public platform to explore and reflect on the time we’re in and the impact of decisions we make going forward. Conversations at the Crossroads now supports various discussion platforms, including the We Contain Multitudes Discussion forum and the OMEGA Resilience Project.

We Contain Multitudes

OMEGA Resilience Project


The Divestment Campaign – a just response to climate inaction

This report, commissioned by 350.org, considers the case for divestment from fossil fuels in South Africa and reflects on the barriers to change.

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Conducted in consultation with South Africa’s National Treasury, our research into tax and regulatory policy frameworks to support the growth of SMEs and social businesses in South Africa was included and approved in the 2013/2014 national budget and drove the formal establishment of the SiMODISA start-up entrepreneurs network.

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Model & Appetite for a Debt Fund to Support SME Lending in South Africa (USAID)

An assessment and analysis of the demand for and structure of an SME debt fund in South Africa, using the Credit Guarantee of a Global International Development Financing Institution. 

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Creating The Nexus for Impact Investing: a case study (Nexii)

A case study that takes an in-depth look at the ground-breaking work of Nexii, an award-winning social enterprise dedicated to establishing a social investment model beyond traditional philanthropy.

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Opportunities for Impact Investing in South Africa: Preliminary Findings (SAIIN)

Our seminal research into the market for impact investment in South Africa led to the creation of the South African Impact Investing Network.

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Convening at Bellagio to design a global social stock exchange

Our international review of the demand for and regulatory requirements for investment platforms to support social businesses led to the creation of the approved rules for a regulated impact investment exchange board with the Stock Exchange of Mauritius.

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Guide to Finance for Social Enterprises in South Africa (Greater Capital)

Developed by Greater Capital, this guide provides social entrepreneurs in South Africa with a detailed guide to securing finance in South Africa. Impact Trust Director, Tamzin Ractliffe, was the conceptual designer and a key contributor to this guide.

Read the guide