Economy News

RISA Supports Scaling of Research and Innovation Financing in Ghana and Nigeria with Over US$1m

The Research and Innovation Systems for Africa (RISA) Fund, a project of the UK International Development has supported the Impact Investing Ghana (IIGh) and Impact Investors Foundation (IIF) Nigeria with additional US$545,256 grant funding to scale sustainable systems for enterprise and innovation financing across Ghana and Nigeria through the Deal Source Africa and Enterprise Support Organisation programs as part of the second phase of RISA Fund’s Scaling Systems for Research & Innovation Financing (SSRIF II). This brings the total grants from the RISA Fund to Impact Investing Ghana to US$1,079,602.

This landmark partnership builds on the excellent south-south collaboration between Ghana and Nigeria and is a significant milestone in IIGh and IIF’s unwavering commitment to mobilizing financial resources to enterprises with viable business models in Africa by strengthening their capacity to attract impact capital.

Both Nigeria and Ghana face challenges in providing innovative ventures with adequate access to patient capital as an estimated $5 billion financing gap exists annually for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana, and a staggering $32.2 billion for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria. The lack of a robust pipeline of investment-ready businesses stems from the inadequate capacity and  inconsistent  quality  of  Enterprise  Support  Organizations  (ESOs).  Additionally, there is a scarcity of transaction advisory services and efficient channels to connect businesses to investors.

This also builds on the successes of initial grants awarded to IIGh in 2021 and 2022, which led to the creation of Deal Source Africa, the Ghana Enterprise Support Organisations Collaborative, the Ghana Research Industry Collaborative and the design and setup of the Ci-Gaba Fund of Funds. The SSRIF II project aims to transform the innovation and financing ecosystem and deepen progress made to unlock and build sustainable financing for enterprise support organizations and innovation funds.

Amma Lartey, CEO of Impact Investing Ghana said, “We have been collaborating with Nigeria for many years with strong impact including the highly subscribed West Africa Deal Summit in 2023. This funding enables us to accelerate and scale that impact to transform millions of lives across Ghana and Nigeria”.

The CEO of Impact Investors Foundation, Nigeria, Etemore Glover said, “We are excited to collaborate with Impact Investing Ghana on the SSRIF II project. This initiative is a resounding affirmation of our unwavering dedication to reducing impact investment barriers and advancing social investments for inclusive economic growth through research, innovation, and sustainable investments.”

Mark Lawler, Team Lead of The RISA Fund, said “we are particularly excited to support this home-grown partnership between leaders in the impact investing space in Ghana and Nigeria – who are seizing the opportunity to collaborate, combine and scale their efforts to leverage financing and create new opportunities for startups and SMEs in the two countries – and perhaps eventually beyond.


The goal of The Research and Innovation Systems for Africa (RISA) Fund from UK International Development is to enhance and support the R&I systems in the following six nations: South Africa, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Kenya. The UK International Development provides funding for the programme, which runs from 2021 to 2025. African institutions addressing the most difficult social, economic, and health issues on the continent are receiving support from the RISA Fund. The Fund partners with research institutions, think tanks, universities, private sector organisations, and international and national NGOs. By building sustainable partnerships, and through its grants, the RISA Fund supports these institutions to access the knowledge, partners, investors, and markets they need to generate actionable research and influence policy.

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