The Sekunjalo Investment Group is launching a R500 million impact fund to boost entrepreneurship, shore up renewable energy initiatives and support women-owned businesses.

Details of the wholly-owned Sekunjalo Impact Fund will be announced by Dr Iqbal Survé, executive chairman of Sekunjalo and Independent Media this afternoon, when he hosts the annual pre-State of the Nation address (Sona) lunch.

The luncheon event is traditionally attended by cabinet ministers, captains of industry, civil society and industry bodies.

International investors will be invited to join the fund, which is immediately seeded with R500m by Sekunjalo, and is projected to grow exponentially, and is expected to reach R2bn within a year of being launched.

Speaking ahead of the lunch event Dr Survé said that the fund will also invite local entities, including state funds like the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA), to invest. The Sekunjalo Impact Fund is also investigating creating an impact bond, similar to an RSA bond.

“The fund will be run by a management team with social impact funding experience,” Dr Survé said.

The Sekunjalo Investment Group has historically been committed to entrepreneurial and community development which has social impact, and this will be reflected in the areas selected for investment. The following categories of economic activity will be earmarked during the next five years:

● Food and agriculture: Investing in subsistence farming through companies active in this arena;

● Climate Change and health: Climate change impacts poor people the most, the Fund will invest in mitigating climate change using tools like renewable energy.

So too will climate change have an impact on the health of people;

● Women-owned ventures because women often still battle to access funding;

● Black Entrepreneurs and SMME development; and

● Media and education – including films and books that foreground human rights and social inclusion.