The "frontiers" investor has launched an annual competition to highlight social entrepreneurs globally making notable impact.
Businesses making a positive social impact were honoured in the first "Transforming Lives Awards" gala held this week by investment firm Alquity. The London event, sponsored by the UBS Wealth Management Optimus Fund, showcased the work of eight social enterprises judged to be the best at improving livelihoods, productive employment and decent work for all - the focus of UN Sustainable Development Goal Number 8.
Such events are a signal of the myriad and growing ways in which investment firms are flying the colours of impact investing from an investment and a reputational point of view. Alquity has been at the forefront of sustainable financing with a business model that commits at least 10 per cent of revenues to development projects in regions in which the firm invests.
The eight companies chosen for the inaugural award shared $530,000 in prize money and included businesses from India, Vietnam, Ghana, Kenya, Mexico and Brazil. Propositions ranged from fair pay and rights for India’s estimated 4 million recycled waste pickers to training Mexico's least well-served women to become software coders, with many of the businesses chosen for promoting a recycling and upcycling culture.
The full list of winners is below:
Plastics For Change, India
Global Mamas, Ghana
Gjenge Makers, Kenya
Educate! East Africa
Luta Pela Paz, Brazil
Alquity CEO Brad Crombie said the event reminded him that "positive impact in the world can be made possible through our business model," which was the reason why he joined as CEO. “After witnessing the response to these awards from clients, industry colleagues, media, and these winning organisations, that belief has been reaffirmed a hundred times over,” he said.