Jamaica is now ready for social impact investment, reckons Leap’s Saffrey Brown. Having spent more than 10 years running the JN Foundation and championing social enterprises, while her business partner Suzanne Shaw chalked up energy and environmental projects for the likes of the European Union (EU), World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank (IADB); they are confident that now is the right time.

Confident that: A. there are enough good ideas to invest in; B. the local venture capital climate can actually support them; and of course C., that they have the combined skills to make a difference.

Businesses in four areas can apply

All told they’re looking for businesses in four strategic areas, chosen for greatest potential social impact: renewable energy & energy efficiency; agriculture; circular economy; and sustainable infrastructure. Separate funds could be established for other areas such as health or education.

While the Leap Company, run by Suzanne in partnership with JN Fund Managers, will be providing the funding, its non-profit arm Leap Forward run by Saffrey will provide incubation and acceleration services, so even if you don’t feel your social impact business idea is 100% ready, they still want to hear from you. Apply!

“If you think you’re creating some kind of impact but you have no idea how to measure it then you can still contact us, because that’s our area – to help you come up with your metrics. Though there is a difference between impact businesses and CSR. Social impact businesses are those whose purpose in life is to balance profit and impact – Leap is here to invest in and support that particular way of creating value in society.” explains Saffrey.

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