MaRS Impact Investor of the Year

EWB Canada Recognized as Impact Investor of the Year

TORONTO, Nov. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB), a founding-stage investor in social enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa, was named Canada’s Impact Investor of the Year by the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing.

The centre describes the annual award as recognition for a Canadian organization that has created positive social or environmental impact through direct investment.

“EWB is extremely honored to be named the Impact Investor of the Year. We’re encouraged by this recognition as we look to grow and support more social ventures in sub-Saharan Africa with our unique, blended approach,” said Nicky Khaki, Managing Director of EWB Ventures

“We hope this will inspire others to recognize the potential and invest in similar early-stage ventures in Africa and beyond.”

EWB’s ventures work to impact at both the local and systemic level. Over the past year, EWB’s venture portfolio has been able to leverage EWB’s seed investments over 9 times with subsequent raises (roughly USD 700,000) and impacted the lives of millions. EWB’s portfolio is made up of socially-focused startups tackling systemic problems in innovative ways. They include startups like FarmDrive, which has developed a mobile application that builds credit scores for underbanked farmers using alternative data such as satellite imagery, and Kwangu-Kwako, which has designed a safe and affordable pre-fabricated housing solution for informal settlements.

“This award is a testament to the power of social entrepreneurs who dedicate their lives working on some of the thorniest, most entrenched social and economic challenges faced by underserved people across Africa,” added James Haga, Vice-President, Strategy and Investment. “When these entrepreneurs are supported by patient and long-term partners like EWB, who supply them with incredible talent, they can build solutions that dramatically improve the lives and livelihoods of many people. We see their full potential and back their remarkable efforts to pioneer new, scalable ways of solving real problems.”

EWB seeks to address the severe lack of capital, talent, mentorship and ecosystem linkages for founding-stage social enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa. Very few impact investors are willing to assume the high risks and uncertain returns associated with investing in founding-stage, socially impactful businesses.

EWB is focused on providing solutions to the intractable problems preventing the poorest of the poor from reaching their full potential. EWB works to cultivate a community of dynamic leaders who are relentlessly driven to address root causes of inequity, and supporting these social entrepreneurs to drive innovations to create dignity and opportunity for millions of people.

About Engineers Without Borders Canada

EWB is a Canadian NGO that invests in people and ventures to create a thriving and sustainable world. Bolstered by its network of 40 chapters and 1300 members, EWB provides seed funding, talent, and mentorship to social enterprises throughout sub-Saharan Africa. For more information on EWB, visit

EWB Ventures is EWB’s seed-stage investment vehicle. We are dedicated to supporting pioneering early-stage, highly scalable, innovative social enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa. EWB Ventures makes tailored, long-term investments of up to $100,000 in ventures (from concept to revenue) with high potential to drive systemic change for the benefit of the underserved.

Media Contact: Ronan O’Beirne, 416-642-9106,

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