Our Approach

Prospero works at the intersection of focus sector market systems and the impact investment ecosystem, recognising that the investment necessary to unleash private enterprise growth at scale requires access to substantial and sustainable sources of commercial finance.

Our approach is built on a foundation of 1) innovation that changes market systems and creates new SME growth opportunities, and 2) a strengthened impact investment ecosystem that provides finance to fuel business growth.

All businesses need to be able to access and compete in markets if they are to grow, but too many Zambian SMEs fail to achieve their full potential because they find it difficult to participate successfully in their particular target market.

Prospero has identified the following pre-conditions (known as the Five C’s) necessary for successful market participation and upon which all our interventions partnerships are predicated:


The financial or non-financial assets required to produce competitive products.



The management and technical know-how and skills to use their assets to their full potential.


The physical, virtual or personal networks required to access inputs or bring products to market.


The ability to follow the formal (e.g. regulation) and informal (e.g. customer tastes and preferences) rules of the market.


Behavioural attributes associated with running a successful business.

Prospero supports intervention partners that are ready and willing to take the risk of investing in viable and innovative business solutions that address the above Five C’s.

Prospero does not pay temporarily for business services that can be provided by the market or subsidise businesses that should be operating on a commercial basis.