This case study is about Jacana Ventures, founded by Stephen Dawson and Lord Joel Joffe, former Chair of Oxfam. It is an initiative which supports the emerging venture capital industry in Sub-Saharan Africa, which in turn will promote the development of SMEs as an important instrument of poverty reduction.
Joel Joffe and Stephen Dawson met in 2008 and discussed about using business for sustainable development. Joel Joffe, who had experience in philanthropy, had begun experimenting with venture capital (VC) in the view of being more sustainable in the long run. According to Stephen Dawson, “he was coming from the philanthropy side, moving towards a VC approach. My experience had been the reverse of that and we met in the middle.”
The task: a research exercise to investigate who was doing what in the region in terms of venture philanthropy and social venture capital. It was decided to take on someone for a three-month period specifically for this task.