Members of the development finance movement have, for the past decade, been evolving investment strategies which are capable of the scale of response Africa needs for its citizens to enjoy sustainable livelihoods. The movement practices a ‘capital plus’ approach, where capital provides the glue for the other skills and support needed to help poor people enjoy viable businesses and personal and societal sustainability. How can this method work where aid has proven ineffectual? How has this community learnt from each other to grow a now-recognised field? What else is needed to enable social entrepreneurs to thrive? This panel shares lessons from Africa which have a bearing on the social investment movement around the world.