profit feels like a dirty word. But are they really so incompatible? Not to Evelyn Castle, who spent a decade working in Africa’s health sector—namely Nigeria—before shifting her focus to impact investing.“I think of impact investing as the future of charity work,” Castle says.
“Charity is not effective, and people with a lot more credentials than me have written books about why aid is not going to have a sustainable impact.”For those unfamiliar with the concept, is exactly what it sounds like: an investment strategy that aims to produce social or environmental benefits in addition to financial gains. In contrast to traditional investment strategies, profit is not the primary driver in the decision-making process, but rather one of many considerations.Impact investing should also not be confused with aid, as its ability to generate market-rate returns in a socially responsible way incentivises continued growth.
Impact investments take many forms, but Castle’s approach is focused on providing entrepreneurs with rather than grants.“There is a role for aid in health emergencies and things like that,” Castle says. “But if you’re looking at really making a change and having a sustainable impact in creating successful, self-reliant countries, doing that through entrepreneurship, I think, is the way to do it.”When it comes to facilitating health care for an entire country, executives are every bit as crucial as practitioners, especially during public health crises.
After co-founding (eHA) in 2009, Castle oversaw fundraising efforts that drew in $250 million over a 10-year period. Her initiatives played an instrumental role in eradicating polio from Nigeria and containing Ebola in West Africa.Castle also co-founded , a network
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