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Funding Social Impact and Changing Perceptions

As part of this new series, we have the Fellows share their own voices on how the program has impacted their work. Check out this reflection from Kelvin Enumah who is a Sustainability and Development Manager for a Nigerian Wetland Cultural and Education Foundation. Kelvin is from Nigeria and is a leader within his community developing his understanding of impact investment. We’re honored to have Kelvin with us. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

As part of the Impact Investing Fellowship, our Fellows get access to training programs and knowledge sessions. We empower our participants to see the possibility in creating real world impact with the financial system by learning about the forward-thinking organizations and programs that are spreading sustainable finance and impact investing. Thanks to our partners at PRME for helping to promote our Fellowship program. With PRME we work to transform education and empower the future finance leaders and impact creators.
Learn more here –

Reflecting on the Impact Investing Fellowship Journey so Far
by Kelvin Enumah

Learning about this opportunity through volunteering with the UN’s PRME Global Students, I was enthusiastic to start the new year with this fellowship. Thinking again, I realize now that the goal of the Impact Investing Fellowship by New England Impact Investing Initiative and oikos International is bold and attractive. PRME stands for Principles for Responsible Management Education.

It certainly should not surprise you that some of us working neck deep in the social impact sector just avoid the ‘money conversation.’ I suspect the reason is that the landscape for social investing used to be unnecessarily difficult due to non-financial ROI. Maybe I am wrong, but convincing companies or for-profit organizations to fund social projects was difficult, and sometimes, it was easier just to sell your car and fund that social project you were passionate about just to prove the impact. With no financial or accounting background, I struggled to understand why every penny should be justified the way funders needed it to be justified.

That was me before hearing from Lubna Maria Elia in January 2024, before attending the BLAISE Learning Week, before role-playing with BII’s Integrated Capital Cards, before listening to Laurie Lane-Zucker of Impact Entrepreneur, before attending the session with Adwoa Asare, gaining complementary access to ImpactAlpha, and meeting 45 other inspiring fellows.

Now I see that Impact Investing is possible and focusing on finding partners willing to create Real World Impact is possible. I’m incorporating this learning into the way I now do work. This is thanks to this Fellowship program. 

Though it is difficult to point out the most impactful session, I cannot forget my experience with the Integrated Capital Card game for sentimental reasons. I remember writing an email that evening to my colleagues at work saying, “Hey guys, I have discovered something absolutely amazing. I think I have seen the best use of flashcards for adult education.” I went on to teach two of them what I had learnt during the session, and they were also amazed – maybe because I taught what I had learnt, which is why it stood out for me. Perhaps I should consider teaching impact investing, as I used to teach automation years ago.

It is encouraging to know that I can return to a recording somewhere even if I miss a session due to my work schedule. This says a lot about the program coordination, which is very thoughtful and intentional. Three months into the fellowship, I have learnt what equity means and, beyond that, liberation. I have learnt how to analyse impact investments, from type of capital, covenants, ESG, funding type to stakeholders, etc. I have gained exposure to impact investing in several sectors, met amazing new industry leaders and had inspiring conversations with some of my co-fellows. Most importantly, my ‘phobia’ for impact investing is fast disappearing – I guess it has to, especially now that I am seriously searching for an internship opportunity to try out my new knowledge and gain the experience to practice.

For More Resources
Feel free to check out the recordings and resources made available on our YouTube channel. We also host sessions for the public that you can sign up for. Contact us to join – 

Please contact Stephen Snider if you would like to get involved in this program or with the Fellowship –