• Thursday, July 18, 2024
businessday logo


Stakeholders highlight role of corporate philanthropy, impact investing in tackling developmental challenges

Stakeholders highlight role of corporate philanthropy, impact investing in tackling developmental challenges

Stakeholders in the public and private sectors have heightened the role of corporate philanthropy and impact investing in tackling Nigeria’s developmental challenges.

The experts spoke at a recent webinar themed ‘Stimulating Corporate Philanthropy and Impact Investing for Job Creation in Nigeria’ and organised by the Nigeria Office for Philanthropy and Impact Investing (NPO) in collaboration with the Impact Investors Foundation (IIF) and Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).

Thelma Ekiyor-Solanke, chairperson, Nigeria Office for Philanthropy and Impact Investing (NPO), said the event is an opportunity to share best practices on the role corporate philanthropy and impact investing play in driving positive societal change.

“The insights from this webinar will be helpful for corporates seeking to be more effective in their giving and help them create a structure around their philanthropic initiatives,” she said.

Read also: From handouts to handshakes: Can sustainable philanthropy bridge Nigeria’s inequality gap?

Bimbo Ashiru, chairman of Odua Investment Company, illustrated how Odua Investment Foundation is bridging and creating a positive change through youth empowerment, healthcare and digital education for young children to equip them with the skills they need for the future.

He emphasised the need for more organisations that are on the sidelines of philanthropic investments to sufficiently engage their immediate and extended communities to address critical societal challenges.

“Corporate philanthropy and impact investing have the potential of becoming a more integral and impactful instrument for building a more sustainable society. Both have the capacity to improve national productivity one investment at a time, but more importantly, they can catalyst the long-term growth of the economy and job creation.”

In his welcome remarks, Gabriel Idahosa, president and chairman of the council, LCCI, called for an alignment of corporates’ philanthropic endeavours with strategic business objectives and the needs of local communities, in order to drive economic growth and corporate profitability.

“We need the commitment of both public and private sectors to address the pressing issue of unemployment and empower our citizens with opportunities for more meaningful livelihoods,” he said.

Also, Etemore Glover, CEO of Impact Investors Foundation, set the context for the discussion by emphasising the need for inclusive investment and development.

“Addressing these developmental issues demands investment and development that is inclusive, and this often extends beyond the capacity of governments to provide and achieve alone. This makes it necessary to leverage the contributions corporate philanthropy can make to investment and development in Nigeria,” Glover said.

She further highlighted the strategic integration of philanthropy within the broader spectrum of impact capital, noting, “Philanthropy is one of the spectrums of impact capital, and when it is well blended into impact capital, it will yield better capital flows for Nigeria.”

The experts underscored the importance of partnerships between the private sector, government, and non-profit organisations to maximise the impact of philanthropic initiatives and investments.

They also highlighted the potential of innovative financing models that combine philanthropic funds with impact investments to create sustainable and scalable job creation programs.