LBS Faculty, Academic Director (Owner-Manager Programme) and Impact Investing Project Director, Henrietta Onwuegbuzie, featured on Channels TV and Classic FM Radio morning show to speak on Inclusive growth and Impact Investing.
She defined Impact Investing as the use of for-profit investments to address social and environmental problems. She explained that unlikecorporate social responsibility (CSR), where a portion of profit/resources are used to ‘give back’ in an effort to create social impact, Impact Investing creates social impact in the course of doing business. She emphasised that, “Impact Investing is a notch or two above CSR, as while CSR is dependent on profits made, Impact Investing is central to the core business strategy.”
Onwuegbuzie noted that Impact Investing is an effective means of achieving inclusive growth which is the theme for this year’s WEF Africa Summit, and noted that businesses built around mass skill acquisition such as professional tailoring or hotel services, can help many unemployed youths become gainfully engaged either as employees or entrepreneurs. Impact Investing thus leads to inclusive growth because it makes more people able to participate and benefit from the national economy.
She explained that besides ensuring the achievement of triple bottom-line; social, environmental and financial results, Impact Investing bridges the gap between economic growth and lagging social development. Onwuegbuzie stated that, “In Nigeria, while our economy has been growing, poverty is on the rise.” She cited the case of constant farm produce waste experienced by farmers due to poor storage facilities, and explained that Agribusinesses that provide access to markets or warehousing facilities are impact investors who will not only make good profit but will increase income to farmers and alleviate their poverty.
She emphasised the need for Nigeria to join the trend of other developed economies by enacting national policies that will encourage Impact Investing, especially in the private sector. She noted that “In spite of Nigeria’s current economic growth, if we continue to have rising poverty levels, we won’t be able to sustain our growth. We have no choice but to start thinking in the direction of Impact Investing for sustainable economic growth.”
Onwuegbuzie concluded by announcing that the Lagos Business School is actively promoting Impact Investing and is soon hoping to establish an Impact Investing Centre where businesses can be helped to embrace an Impact Investing business model while remaining profitable.