Last week, it was my pleasure to visit Angola. This was my first trip to Africa. The trip was hosted by Vital Capital, a $350 million impact investment fund based in Tel Aviv, headquartered in Switzerland and investing primarily in Angola.
The fund’s founder, Eytan Stibbe, is an unassuming, hardworking fighter pilot (he still works one day each week as a flight instructor).
Impact investments have a different type of effect on a community as compared with philanthropic activities. There is definitely a need for both.
Vital Capital is doing things that philanthropy chooses not to do for a variety of reasons; scale is one of the most important.
It is difficult to raise the money to simply give someone a home. On the other hand, if you can build affordable housing and providing consumer financing to enable people to buy them, you can move hundreds of thousands of people from adobe huts without plumbing or electricity into modest, modern homes in safe communities with good schools, roads, electricity, water and sewers (complete with sewage treatment).
Vital Capital has also invested in a modern medical center in Angola’s capitol, Luanda, where they will provide medical care with standards equal to the developed world. Through a variety of programs, they anticipate serving people on every rung of the socioeconomic ladder in the new facility.
Another project they’ve funded, is a community known as Aldeia Nova in the part of the country most ravaged by the 27-year civil war that ended only a decade ago. There, they operate an community-based agribusiness that serves family farmers who keep dairy cattle or chickens. By applying modern farming techniques and technologies, they enable the farmers to earn multiples of the incomes of other small farmers in Angola.
It was exciting to see all the good they are doing. Watch my blog at Forbes for a longer report on all I saw during my trip to Angola!