Release of 2018 Impact Report

We’re excited to share our 2018 Impact Report, which summarizes our progress as an organization, our guiding principles and priorities, and how those goals have shaped our investments. We also present the important impact that our investees have had so far, and how they will change the lives of children and youth in the future. Click here to learn more: …


Delivering women’s health & beauty products to last mile customers

Svenska tech-miljoner till sociala entreprenörer i Östafrika

Den svenska stiftelsen Optimizer Foundation har i dagarna gjort sin fjärde investering inom socialt entreprenörskap i Östafrika. – Vårt fokus är underfinansierade områden inom utbildning och hälsa. Vi vill gärna satsa på bolag som vi tror kan ha en stor positiv inverkan och lösa ett lokalt problem, säger styrelseordförande Helena Riese Harstad. – Titta, så mycket kraftigare och längre majsen …

Investering i Mensskydd Ska Få Flickor Tillbaka Till Skolan

Svenska Optimizer Foundation investerar 1,3 miljoner kronor i ett rwandiskt e-handelsbolag, som säljer hygienartiklar, mensskydd och preventivmedel via en sms-baserad handelsplattform. Nyligen utökades verksamheten även till Kenya. Optimizer Foundation investerar 150.000 dollar i det det rwandiska bolaget Kasha som säljer hygienartiklar, mensskydd och preventivmedel via en sms-baserad handelsplattform. – I dag är kvinnor tvingade att betala dyra pengar för preventivmedel, HIV-test och …

Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE)

The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) is a global membership network of organizations that propel entrepreneurship in emerging markets. ANDE members provide critical financial, educational, and business support services to small and growing businesses (SGBs) based on the conviction that SGBs will create jobs, stimulate long-term economic growth and produce environmental and social benefits. We have been a member …


Acumen makes patient longterm debt or equity investments in early-stage companies providing reliable and affordable access to quality education, healthcare services, formal housing, and safe drinking water to low-income customers. The patient capital Acumen provides is accompanied by a wide range of support services to support organisational scale up. Its aim in investing patient capital is not to seek high …


Intellecap is a pioneer in providing innovative business solutions that help build and scale profitable and sustainable enterprises dedicated to social and environmental change. Intellecap takes an ecosystem approach to amplify the impact that businesses can achieve and shape development outcomes in the process. Intellecap Impact Investment Network (I3N) is a global network of impact investors who come together to …


Dasra is India’s leading strategic philanthropy foundation focused on creating large-scale social change toward a transformed India with dignity and equity. Founded in 1999, Dasra accelerates social change by driving collaborative action and powerful partnerships with funders, social enterprises and other key stakeholders. Dasra works on a range of challenges in India including empowering adolescents, sanitation and governance. We have …

Helena Riese Harstad

Chairman & Co-Founder

Helena Riese Harstad is the Co-Founder and working Chairman of Optimizer Foundation. She leads the overall strategic direction of the foundation, including assessment of investment opportunities, and manages donor engagement

Anne Stubert Partridge


Anne Partridge is the COO of Optimizer Foundation. She is responsible for developing and implementing the strategy of the foundation, identifying and evaluating investment opportunities, and managing the portfolio

Emily Durfee

Investment Manager

Emily Durfee is Optimizer Foundation’s Investment Manager, based out of Nairobi, Kenya. She is establishing Optimizer’s East African operations, and managing the local investment pipeline, due diligence processes, portfolio advisory, and ecosystem relationships

Marcus Watson


Marcus provides advisory support to Optimizer Foundation, specifically with regards to the East African markets. Marcus is an Associate Partner at Dalberg Advisors, a strategy consulting firm, based in Nairobi, Kenya

Abdourahmane Diop


Abdourahmane is an investment professional with more than 7 years’ experience in impact investing and innovative financing in agriculture, global health and education. He provides advisory support to Optimizer Foundation, specifically with regards to financial returns analysis and investment pricing strategy

Peter F. Hinton

Senior Advisor

Peter provides advisory support to Optimizer Foundation, especially as regards sector views and insights on education and health, but also with general advice on impact and strategy. Peter is an Associate Fellow of Saïd Business School

Carl-Johan Hedström

Tech Advisor

Carl-Johan Hedstrom is currently the Director of LiveOps at Soundtrack Your Brand, and has 13 years of experience in IT/Telecoms space

Catharina Belfrage Sahlstrand

Board Member

Catharina is a board member of Optimizer Foundation. She is a lawyer and heads the legal team at Debt Capital Markets at one of the major Nordic banks Handelsbanken

Alexandra Rosberg Hinxman

Board Member

Alexandra Rosberg Hinxman is a board member of Optimizer Foundation. She works as governmental advisor specialising in international relations and

Bianca J. Samuelsson

Project Coordinator

With a background in Business and Tourism, and many years of experience in business and office management, Bianca brings an unprecendented level of organisation and structure to our daily operations