I believe that we need to look for innovative and entrepreneurial ways to address social and environmental challenges such as climate change, unemployment, integration of refugees or unequal access to opportunities and that solutions need to cut across organizational, sectoral or disciplinary boundaries. Many of us have experienced the great potential of relationships between individuals and groups brought together by a common idea. I also do recognize the importance of finance and investment not as a means in itself but as a way to bring new ideas to life, help entrepreneurs and enterprises grow and achieved transformative impact.
We need more information on best (and worst) practices and better data in the impact field to encourage engagement by the private sector and financial institutions, to help government make better decisions and to put to work financial, human and social capital to where impact is greatest. And we need to make use of technology as an opportunity to achieve the sustainable development goals.
*Scharmer, O. Käufer, K., 2013, From Egosystem to Ecossytem.
Creating ideas, Catalyzing innovation, Connecting changemakers
Applied Research & Advisory Services
I provide hands-on advice to governments, development agencies, foundations and other organizations to use their capacities, networks and financial resources in a way that makes a real difference. The work is grounded in latest academic research and gathers best practices thanks to my broad network in this field and own experience spanning over almost two decades of working in this field.
Training & Facilitation
The complex problems we are seeking to address require multilingual leaders with the ability to build bridges combing technical and financial skills with understanding of the social and environmental imperatives and leadership skills. Together with other facilitators and experts, we develop learning opportunities for both practitioners and newcomers to the impact and social innovation field and we create the space required for deeper listening, learning and connection. I am a trained facilitator in collective leadership methods such as Theory U and Art of Hosting and Generative facilitation.
Project incubation & Development
I am a passionate entrepreneur myself and I enjoy bringing new ideas to life. With partners around the world I engage in strengthening the market infrastructure and providing products and services to entrepreneurs, intermediaries, investors and policy makers.
Communication & Sharing
I actively share knowledge through publications, speaking engagements, as member of working groups or as mentor. I thus hope to contribute to promote the development of impact markets in Germany as well as internationally.
Project manager & senior development finance expert
Led a team of international experts to take stock of innovative development finance trends, strategies, review of international and German development cooperation experiences in the field of innovative development finance, and provide recommendation to the German government (BMZ) and KfW. The team drafted a comprehensive stocktaking report (internal); and co-authored a toolbox document (2019-2020).
Member of Advisory Team
Appointed to an international team of experts to advise an Italian corporate social investor on scaling of a refugee entrepreneurship support across Europe (since 2020).
Workshop facilitation in strategic philanthropy / German foundation
Project manager & senior facilitator
Prepared and facilitated a workshop with the senior management team of one of Germany's largest foundation on the foundation's phasing out (exit) of its partner organisation. The process included in-depth interviews with senior leadership of the foundation, identifying critical issues, provision of related content and expertise, facilitation of 2 day workshop and workshop documentation (2020).
Facilitator & moderator
Facilitated a global practitioners' exchange to "Discover New Ways to Promote Entrepreneurship & Support MSME Development gathering entrepreneurship support organisations, practitioners, experts, investors and donors. On behalf of an international coalition of donors: BMZ, GIZ, EBRD, IFC, ILO and in cooperation with Adelphi (2019).
Advised a private client on key trends in sustainable finance as well as market opportunities in sustainable business and finance market in Indonesia. Designed and supporting a major stakeholder convening of sustainable finance and business community in Indonesia as a market entry strategy for the client (2019-20).
Senior Entrepreneurship Advisor
Private sector foundation Swisscontact embarked on a journey to develop knowledge knowledge and contribute to the international debate on how entrepreneurship and enterprise development can be best promoted (2017-2018).
Finance Guide / GIZ
Senior finance expert
The Finance Guide is an introduction to the basics of commercial finance and investment in the context of development cooperation. The objective is to enable readers with limited or no prior exposure to finance topics to understand some key aspects in the public and private sector. Given the increasing importance of mobilizing private capital for development purposes, the Finance Guide is intended to provide orientation to GIZ staff when considering the role of commercial finance in designing and implementing technical-assistance programs. In addition, when working with implementing partners or businesses looking for finance, the reader will be able to assume a more substantial role in supporting such local partners and entrepreneurs in developing bankable and investment-ready projects or businesses (2017/18).
The guide can be accessed at Endeva's website, the lead partner for this assignment.
Supporting the UK innovation agency Nesta with designing and conducting a comprehensive piece of research on how foundations and other innovation funders fund and support innovation. The focus was on the role of learning, risk taking and failure and we specifically looked at philanthropic innovation funders engaged in developing and emerging countries. The results were to feed into the design of programs in international development
Impact investing leadership development & training
F4C was one of the first European leadership program to make the nascent field of impact oriented investing and social finance accessible to philanthropic funders, VC funds, business angels, intermediaries and financial institutions in both the D-A-CH region and internationally and introduce them to the field of impact investing (2016-2017).
Research & Advisory
Advised Danida, the Danish Development Agency on options to mobilise private sector capital for sustainable development. The work included a recap of the current discussion of key concepts in impact investing and innovative finance, an identification of critical issues based on a literature review, stakeholder interviews in Europe, the US and emerging markets and a review of more than 20 blended finance vehicles.
Leadership development & Training
Developed, designed and managed a training, mentoring and co-investment program for impact entrepreneurs, social businesses, intermediaries, social investors in Turkey supported by JP Morgan Chase Foundation. Co-trainer in 3 day social investment training with a panel of highly recognized international social investment and impact measurement experts.
As Fellow of the German Mercator Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation supported Impact Investing Policy Collaborative at the Istanbul Policy Center of Sabanci University Turkey led the first major research project in Turkey on social entrepreneurship and impact investment. The work included a major social and green entrepreneurship survey; the testing of potential investors’ interest under various scenarios; identification on necessary conditions by international impact investment firms and funds for engaging in Turkey; review of legal framework; the development of options for engagement by government and other market builders; convening of Turkey's first international impact investing conference in cooperartion with UNDP.
Research & Advisory
Inclusive Business involve low income communities in the value chain. Commissioned by GIZ, the German Government Agency explored demand by governments in Indonesia and Columbia for assistance for developing inclusive business policies.
Research & Advisory
The Turkish presidency of the G20 in 2015 identified Inclusive Business Policies as a priority topic for its Development Working Group. IFC and UNDP have been tasked by the G20 to lead on the development of a Framework on Inclusive Business Policies that can guide further actions. We were commissioned to support the consulting team led by our colleagues at Endeva to support the development of the framework. The Framework has been adopted as part of the G20 presidency in 2014.
The project aim was to identify innovative options to channel sustainable investment finance to an economically underdevelopment region in Kenya. Work included a review of financial service providers, their products and technologies to identify market gaps; the implementation of an enterprise survey to identify market needs for new financial and non-financial support; a review of international experience in public venture capital, investment fund design and management of funds for social impact; the development of an initial deal pipeline, advice on fund design options, a fund investment strategy and testing of investor interest. NKIF became part of the governments Vision2030.
in IIPC, Impact Investing in 2014: A Snapshot of Global Activity, Impact Investing Policy Collaborative Annual Report 2014, p 13. The report can be downloaded here, the article can be found on page 13-22
In IIPC, Impact Investing in 2014: A Snapshot of Global Activity, Impact Investing Policy Collaborative Annual Report 2014, p 31. The report can be downloaded here, the article can be found on page 31-44
Collection of blog posts published between February 2013 and May 2013 on global trends in social investments globally, the situation in Turkey, diaspora investing and the need for a holistic approach to market building for social investment in Turkey
Istanbul Policy Center, Turkey October 2013.
Collection of blogs: Documentation of methodological considerations in designing and implementing Turkey’s first survey of green and social entrepreneurship and survey results.
Results of interviews with leading impact investment fund managers and firms on why impact investors engage in one country and not in another.
Articles, presentations & speaking engagements
Koenig, A. (2013): Entrepreneurship for social impact in Turkey:
fancy trend or potential game changer? published in the Milliyet, 29 June 2013 in Turkish (download here – differences to the final publication as edited by Milliyet staff) and in English (download here)
Koenig, A. (2014): Social and environmental impact investing: from ego-system to eco-system (published in Turkish on T24 on 09.01.2014)
Koenig, A (2014): Opportunities for social investing in Turkey (in Hurriyet DailyNews on 11.03.2014, access here)
Presentations and speaking engagements
GIZ Symposium (September 2018): Entrepreneurship Guiding Principles: how to promote entrepreneurship and enterprise development effectively.
European Venture Philanthropy Association Annual Conference: “New VP tools in international development: more resources for more impact? (3- 4 November 2016, Paris, more details here).
GIZ/ADB/Government of Indonesia: Public policy in inclusive business and impact investing & Inclusive Business Policies in Tourism, Jakarta, May 2015)
Hertie School of Governance, Berlin: The role of the public sector in promoting entrepreneurship and innovation (18 February 2015 download).
European Venture Philanthropy Association Annual Conference: Investment readiness programs: the solution to deal-flow or the myth? Berlin, 18 November 2014.
MarS Social Finance Forum, Bridging Policy and Practice to grow the impact investing market. Toronto, Thursday 6 November 2014.
Private Equity International, Turkey Forum, Impact investing opportunities in Turkey. Istanbul 29 October 2014.
Technology Foundation of Turkey, What is next in Impact Investing, Istanbul 9 September 2014.
JP Morgan Chase Foundation/Sabanci University Istanbul, 1-3 June 2014: Advanced Training on Social Investment, Co-training with Rodney Schwartz of Clearly So.
Sabanci University, Launch of the JP Morgan Chase Foundation - Sabanci University Social Investment Program, Istanbul February 2014 What is Social investment and why do we need it?
Sankalp Africa Summit Nairobi, February 12-13, 2014: Government and development (finance) institutions in social innovation: trends and opportunities to catalyze investment for social and environmental impact.
GIZ 16th International Business Forum | October 24, 2013: Government as Impact Investors: Innovations and New Perspectives. (download here)
Climbiz Emerging Europe Impact Investing Day | September 26, 2013: Impact Investing in Turkey: Stories from the Field. (download here).
Impact Investing Policy Collaborative Annual Conference | London (UK) |July 7-11, 2013: How is Turkey Engaging Key Stakeholders to Build a Policy Platform for Social Innovation? (download here)
Regional Social Entrepreneurship Day | Budapest (Hungary) | June 14, 2013: Experience in Social Entrepreneurship in Turkey (download here)
EuroAsia Social Business Forum | May 23, 2013: Social Investment – global trends and opportunities in Turkey (download here)
TUSEV Impact seminar – Regional Development Agencies | Istanbul | April 2013: Findings from the Social and Green Entrepreneurship Survey (download here)
Istanbul Policy Centre – Sabanci University | November 2012 – Social Impact Markets – project presentation (download here)
What others said about my work - Thank You!
"Anja is one of the most innovative partners I've had the pleasure of working with in the social innovation and impact investing fields. She is a visionary who connects people and ideas in a way that has real practical results borne out through important policy and infrastructure change; she is tireless in her approach to building effective impact investing markets whether through convening field leaders, training practitioners, or conducting her own landmark research; and she is absolutely wonderful to work with. I consider her a critical adviser, collaborator, and thought partner to whom I will continue to turn for insight. It is my pleasure to recommend her."
Colby Daley, Managing Director at Build Healthy Work Places California/USA (former Associate Director at Pacific Community Ventures/Impact Investing Policy Collaborative by the Rockefeller Foundation)
"Anja was instrumental in creating and implementing the Social Investment Program at the Entrepreneurship Centre/Sabanci University that I have joined. Anja demonstrated great professionalism, experience and knowledge in Impact investment. The most impressive part of her involvement was her enthusiasm and dedication in making impact investment a norm of investment in Turkey."
Huseyin Demirhisar, Impact Investment Expert Amsterdam (formerly at PYMWYMIC and Angel Wings Ventures)
"As a person who is curious and keen to learn I attended the F4C Investor Bootcamp in order to expand my horizon, my knowledge and my network in relation to Impact Investing - all of it has been achieved ! The interactive design, the contribution of a wide range and highly competent experts and the mix of participants has been very valuable to hear different perspectives and to facilitate an exchange of these different groups. Anja and Leon have managed to set up a great format and I hope they will manage to create a series of offerings!."
Klaus Naeve, Head Philanthropic Advisory Services, Joh. Berenberg Gosslar &Co. KG Hamburg
"Knowing Anja and joining the Social Investment Program conducted by her was my one of best choices in life. [...] This Social Investment Program helped me to understand the philosophy of social entrepreneurship, social needs, and stakeholder expectations. All my life changed in a very good way after entering social investments world following participation in this fabulous program."
Besim Caliskan, IPA International Rescue Committee Turkey
Founder and Director
Anja Koenig is an experienced impact and development professional with in-depth technical expertise in impact finance, entrepreneurship promotion, blended value partnerships and a trained facilitator in social innovation, generative facilitation and systems change. She enjoys co-creating multistakeholder strategies and systemic interventions, catalyzing new ideas and connecting individuals and organization for greater impact.
She is currently part time staff with the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA), an European network of social investors. In this capacity she represents EVPA in the DACH region, facilitates interactive formats for peer learning and leads EVPA's work on system change which explores the use of collaborative and system approaches in investing for impact for transformative impact.
Anja is mentor at MentorMe, Germany's largest professional mentoring platform for young women, mentor with OnPurpose, supporter of Frauenalia, supporting newcomer women with workplace integration or entrepreneurship support; as co-host and facilitator of the Berlin Chapter of Impact for Breakfast; as member of the Social Entrepreneurship Network Germany (SEND); as member of the Federal Initiative for Impact Investing Germany (BII) and as pro bono jury member of start social, a government program to support innovative social projects in Germany.
She speaks German (native), English, French as well as some Portuguese and basic Turkish. She is now based in Berlin, after living as a long term resident in London (UK), Nairobi (Kenya) and Istanbul (Turkey) and working on assignments in various countries in Africa, CEE, MENA, Asia and Latin America.