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A man charges his phone with off-grid electricity in a Senegalese village. © GIZ Kamikazz

New GET.invest service to help locally owned, early-stage companies access finance

13 August 2021 | Between 2012-2017, two-thirds of equity investment in the off-grid solar sector went to just four companies, according to the global non-profit Acumen. In the clean cooking sector, 80% of the capital raised between 2017-2019 went to ten companies, based on data from the Clean Cooking Alliance. Often, small and medium sized companies (SMEs) from emerging and developing countries struggle to raise equity in markets that offer very little financing for early-stage businesses.

This is a major roadblock for universal energy access, as 84% of the people without access to energy live in rural areas, and could benefit from locally based SMEs that tend to have deep distribution roots in communities as well as knowledge of local customer preferences, as highlighted in the GOGLA Off-grid solar investment trends 2020.

Based on learning and experience from supporting in the range of 200 companies and projects over the last years, as well as consultation with and feedback from many stakeholders, GET.invest is now launching a new and dedicated service that offers tailored support to early-stage, locally owned and managed energy companies. The service will focus on improving and accelerating access to finance for companies in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific seeking to raise funds of €100,000 or more.

Implementation will commence in autumn 2021 with leading advisory firms under a framework agreement. The service will leverage the consulting firms’ network and support innovative, impactful and scalable companies and projects, with priority given to women-led initiatives. Support will be available for companies from a wide scope of technologies and business models, including mini-grids, solar home systems, clean cooking solutions, productive use of energy, commercial and industrial power, energy efficiency and e-mobility, with a flexibility to include also other clean energy solutions.

The new service in GET.invest’s portfolio will be deployed in partnership with GOGLA, the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE), and the Global Distributors Collective (GDC). It is part of a general evolution of GET.invest’s services in response to market developments and learning, including pilot activities to work with financiers in sub-Saharan Africa to increase local currency investments in renewable energy.

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A man charges his phone with off-grid electricity in a Senegalese village. © GIZ Kamikazz