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Chasing Unicorns in African Circular Business Models


08 Dec 2022














Circular Economy, Finance, Venture Capital, Circular Business Models


Circular Economy Innovation Partnership

Footprints Africa

African Circular Economy Network

The 1st Webinar in the CE Entrepreneurship in Africa Webinar Series themed, “Chasing Unicorns in African Circular Business Models” was held as an accelerator session of the World Circular Economy Forum 2022 on 8th December 2022 (16:00 – 17:00 WAT- Nigerian Time).

The focus of the session was to address how we look at investing in circular economy businesses. The question of what should inform investment in African Circular Business Models has been a cause for concern owing to the fact that many entrepreneurial projects that can be classified as circular may not ever be in a position to scale. Through a venture capital lens, however, investment in circular economy business models should be limited to entrepreneurial projects that have capacity to scale.

The Chasing Unicorns in African Circular Business Models Webinar provided an opportunity to dig deep into the subject from multiple perspectives, from seasoned experts, venture capitalists and the public.

Our guests, Yasmin Kamara-Osaghae and Adun Okupe, CA, PhD debated the intricacies of both sides of the divide. While Dr. Natalie Beinisch helped steer the conversation, Anastasia Guha was the expert eye who along with 37% of the participants found both sides convincing. In the end, there had to be a winner of the argument, and the public jury decided in favor of Adun Okupe, CA, PhD’s argument that circular business investment should not focus on scalability, but rather on growth, with over 47% of the participants weighing in that investment should be done based on impact.

Our key take away from the webinar is that circular business models require socially responsible investment and other metrics of value should be considered aside from scaling capacity.

Watch the replay here.


Meet The Key Speakers

Yasmin Kamara-Osaghae is a private sector development professional with over 10 years of management and consulting experience across private and public sectors. She has worked in Nigeria over the last 7 years on donor-funded economic reform programmes with a range of bilateral institutions and DFIs including FCDO/DFID, the European Union, World Bank, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and UK Department for International Trade.

Adun Okupe, CA, PhD is a strategic technical advisor working with governments, bilateral agencies, multinational organizations and investors to address their most pressing challenges in the areas of sustainability, strategic leadership, travel and tourism and the cultural and creative industries. She is a member of faculty of Lagos Business School where she lectures on sustainability leadership, sustainability for innovation, circular economy and strategy.

Anastasia Guha is a sustainable investment team leader with over 17 years of global experience and networks. A progressive pragmatist, she enjoys acting as a trusted advisor to investors on SI strategy and beliefs, best practices for integrating ESG factors into investment strategies, conducting successful corporate/policy engagement programmes, and ESG reporting and measurement frameworks.

Dr. Natalie Beinisch is the Executive Director of Circular Economy Innovation Partnership in Lagos, which focuses on research, advocacy and programming to promote Circular Economy business and investment in Nigeria. Before moving to Lagos, she set up the Engagement Programme for Aegon Asset Management’s Responsible Investment team in the Netherlands and headed the Academic Network at the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment in London.