EWB Canada invests in ventures that will drive innovations to change the systems that cause and perpetuate poverty. We spark and accelerate their growth, build their capacity and ensure their long-term independence and sustainability. Our ventures receive financial support, volunteers and professional mentorship that help guide their actions toward greater, sector-wide impact.
Our ventures’ impact is local, but their innovations have the potential to challenge global systems. Some bring affordable financing to rural entrepreneurs. Some improve delivery of vital government services. Some mobilize Canadians to change the way companies think about social responsibility. All challenge the status quo and provide radical alternatives to unjust systems.
Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest global rates of early-stage entrepreneurship; a quarter of the continent’s citizens work in the 17.7 million small and medium sized businesses. The sector is poised for growth and brimming with innovative potential. Our SGB portfolio supports ventures that are breaking down barriers to African entrepreneurship. They are addressing the lack of available financing, talent and strategic support for those enterprises too big for microfinance and too small for commercial investors — the “missing middle.” We are supporting the bold, transformative innovations that will enable these entrepreneurs to succeed.
Within the Governance for Sustainable Services portfolio, we support ventures that have the potential to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of governance for social service provision in sub-Saharan Africa. Our motivation is to cultivate an experimental mindset and social leadership within the ecosystem of partners and stakeholders to basic social services, and with a specific focus on supporting innovation led by Africans. We hope to catalyze a shift in how basic social services are governed, financed, and delivered in low-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa.