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West Africa

Farmers crack open Cocoa pods and remove seed to dry; Photo Credit: Juergen Sauer, Munich

Operating out of Lagos, we invest in off-grid energy, resilient agriculture, and youth employment.

  • Agriculture
  • Energy
  • Workforce

Our impact in West Africa

deployed for breakthrough solutions
lives reached through market-based solutions
Academy alumni dedicated to social change

A young and surging population is primed for possibility.

West Africa is home to some 350 million people, more than half of whom are under 25. Increasing access to basic services can drastically improve health and well-being for 75% of the population who live on less than $2 per day. We back visionary entrepreneurs who can positively disrupt systems for generations to come.

Smallholder farmers represent the majority of the population but their productivity is among the lowest in the world. We focus on helping smallholder farmers increase yields and incomes with climate-resilient practices and access to markets.

In the region, the youth unemployment rate is a staggering 80% including both formal and informal sectors. We support companies that provide decent work conditions and are creating 15,000 youth jobs in Nigeria.

In rural West Africa, electricity access can be as low as 10%. We’re ending energy poverty by providing first-time access, decarbonizing rural livelihoods, and building clean energy infrastructure.

Woman picks ripe grain stalks from field in West Africa; Photo Credit: Juergen Sauer, Munich
Man cheerfully sews clothes in West African garment shop while listening to music
A man and woman enjoying access to lighting in their home

Repairing broken systems, one idea at a time

We don’t have to settle for the status quo. The solutions to poverty exist and they are within our reach.

Don’t just take our word for it.

The proof is in the progress. From Lagos to Freetown, West African companies are moving the needle on problems of poverty.

Meet the leaders of the future.

The Foundry is our global community of more than 1,600 alumni. Accompanied with the tools, connections, and capital required to scale their impact, these leaders draw on shared wisdom and experience as they navigate the often difficult path of social entrepreneurship.

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