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Final Policy Paper: Exploration of Social Impact Bonds for SME development

Published: 
13 April 2014

In September 2013, The Bertha Centre (located within University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business), Genesis Analytics and Social Finance formed a research coalition and were awarded a grant to explore the applicability of Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) as a financing instrument in South Africa. In particular, the initial scoping study sought to assess issues relating to the design of, and gauge the level of interest of key stakeholders in, a SIB providing business development services (BDS) to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) so as to generate economic growth and job creation.

During the course of the research, the coalition held discussions, interviews and workshops with (i) local business development service providers; (ii) national, regional and local authorities; (iii) community groups and NGOs interested in facilitating SME growth; (iv) potential investors; and (v) potential outcomes funders. Additionally, the coalition brought together a broader group of stakeholders in an African Social Impact Bond (ASIB) Advisory Group with representation from: (i) provincial and national government departments; (ii) the financial sector; (iii) business organisations and/or; (iv) international funders. Workshops and interviews with these stakeholders and the Advisory Group comprised a significant portion of the project and their feedback is incorporated throughout this document.