1000 Alternatives is an impact investment firm supporting growth-stage companies whose products and services intentionally deliver lasting social impact and whose business models are profitable.
We make our investments in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
Impact-focused investors from the public sector, non-profits and for-profits worldwide are struggling to find high-quality, lock-step* companies to invest in.
*A lock-step company is one that delivers a financial return and significant social impact.
For companies fortunate to get investments from the public sector, donors, philanthropists and international development actors, the sustainability of impact outcomes beyond the time-bound support and investment remains a challenge, as financial performance is not a priority for the investors.
While these companies often benefit from deep knowledge and support on impact creation, sustainability and measurement from their donors, the sad reality is that companies that are not profitable die. And as the companies die, the investment made and the impact achieved dies with them too.
On the other hand, private sector investments focus on growth and financial performance as the key metrics of success. The focus on growth at all costs to enable profitable exits fuel the desire to drive up valuations. In the course of these growth efforts to be investor-ready, sustainable impact is almost always an un-budgeted afterthought.
Relative to the non-profit, impact-driven sector, private sector companies have lower levels of expertise in understanding and measuring impact. Asking a private sector company to deliver impact as well as profit is asking them to worry about two bottom-lines. At crunch-time, the focus on impact is often lost in favor of managing P&L.
For the companies we invest in, 1000 Alternatives is the impact investment firm that provides capacity building inputs, advisory services, networks, coverage and investments necessary to pilot and scale great companies across sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
For our investors, 1000 Alternatives is the impact investment firm that delivers long-term, sustainable impact and financial returns by investing just-in-time and patient capital to the great companies in its portfolio.
The companies we invest in benefit from just-in-time capacity building, advisory services, funding and incubation as convertible debt or in return for equity or a fee.
Together with our impact-focused and profit-focused investors, we invest in these daring companies to create strong profitable business models in order to guarantee the long-term sustainability of the positive impact created through the product or services delivered.
Through our proprietary processes and locations, we provide coverage to scale successful pilots across sub-Saharan Africa and Asia and enable access to a larger combined market for substantial combined financial returns and as great an impact as possible.