A Lasting Impact through Impact Investment — Alex Evangelides

Alex Evangelides (MBA ’17) was able to pursue a career transition into impact investing this summer with D. Capital.

Impact investing is a rapidly growing and shifting industry. As an impact investment advisory firm working to consult funds, family offices, foundations, and more on the entire investment process, D. Capital is uniquely positioned as a trusted intermediary to help mold the field. With specialization in Sub-Saharan Africa, D. Capital helps facilitate the flow of capital to high growth and impact opportunities in parts of the world that need it most. As a summer investment associate, Alex got exposure to the entire impact investing space through D. Capital, and an opportunity to work in four different countries (Kenya, South Africa, England, and Hungary) while being based in Nairobi.

“Part of what made the opportunity at D. Capital so unique was the opportunity to serve as advisors to multiple players in the impact investment space. This gave me the chance to get a first-hand look at all of the different sides of the industry.”

Alex spent his summer across multiple initiatives for the firm. Much of his time was spent focused on D. Capital’s African Student Financing Initiative. Across Sub-Saharan Africa, student loans for university and vocational education are sparse. While government run programs target the lowest income populations, and the wealthy can finance themselves, there is still a large “missing middle” between these two groups without access to capital to pursue higher education. Alex helped to develop an operating model for standing up a company focused on this problem, and created several pilot proposals that D. Capital is now actively pursuing.

He also spent time helping to develop a pipeline of early stage social enterprises for the firm’s client base, doing preliminary internal due diligence on companies in the fintech and career services space. Additionally, Alex authored a thought leadership piece for D. Capital to use in business development around the unique role foundations can play in the impact investing space, helping to catalyze private sector capital through blended financial instruments.

While Alex previously had experience working for a social enterprise in Uganda, the summer with D. Capital was an opportunity to learn about the impact investor mindset from within.

“Having the opportunity to work for D. Capital really helped me continue to gain clarity on what my next steps are post-graduation. The funding from HSIF was instrumental in making this financially feasible. While I was working in an entirely new field, my course work at Haas prepared me to hit the ground running. I learned an incredible amount in a short time, but also felt like I was able to use the skills I’ve developed during my MBA to add value to the firm.”

Alex’s collaboration with D. Capital was made possible through the funding of HSIF. To find out more about how to get involved, visit the Haas Social Impact Fund page.