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First two early-stage locally owned companies selected for investment readiness support to scale their clean energy solutions in Africa

Energy 4 Impact is pleased to announce that it has selected BM Solutions and Ventura as the first two energy access companies to receive support along their fundraising journey through the GET.invest Finance Readiness Support programme. A service of the European programme GET.invest, the GET.invest Finance Readiness Support enables locally owned and managed clean energy businesses to access the required finance to grow and offer clean energy solutions at scale in Africa.

Despite playing a vital role as engines of job creation and economic growth, early-stage companies face significant barriers in tapping into funding opportunities, largely due to their lack of track record, relatively small size, and sizeable financing requirements. This access-to-finance gap for small local companies is a major roadblock towards achieving universal energy access: 84% of people without access to energy live in rural areas and local companies are well-positioned to meet their needs given their deep distribution roots and knowledge of local customer preferences. Support from Energy 4 Impact through GET.invest will enable promising energy companies to prepare their business case to prove to investors that they are ready for capitalisation.

Solar supplier BM Solutions installs solar home systems, solar-powered water pumps and solar fridge freezers at rural households, farms and businesses in Benin. The company distributes lighting and appliance charging options, potable water production systems, and irrigation and cold chain solutions in regions where the grid is weak or non-existent.

Such products can have a significant impact on communities and businesses: from extended business operating hours and more productive farms and shops better able to offer safe food products with a longer shelf life; to more secure residential areas, with well-lit homes where children can study after dark, and families can access broadcast media for learning and entertainment.

The company has ambitious plans to extend its reach to the least electrified region of northern Benin and become the leading provider of solar-powered irrigation in the country by 2025. Energy 4 Impact will support BM Solutions by offering market analysis, creating a business plan including a growth trajectory, producing a financial model for their capital raise, along with a pitch deck to approach investors.

Alban Brice Mongbo, co-founder of BM Solutions says,

Being part of the first cohort is an extraordinary opportunity for us to put our ambition and vision in motion. With Energy 4 Impact’s investment readiness support, we’ll cost our operational expansion and build a convincing story for strategic investors. Our future investors and partners will play a vital role in enabling us to bring life-changing equipment and appliances to those most in need.

Ventura is a solar-powered mini-grid developer currently working on three mini-grid projects in Nigeria to provide sustainable electricity on demand to power local businesses, industries, and households. The company plans to develop a fast-growing portfolio of green mini-grids over the next five years in areas within the country where around 70% of the local communities are off-grid, and the remaining 30% are underserved. There is huge potential for clean energy to boost local economies in these regions through providing productive use equipment and appliances to small businesses, especially in the agri-processing sector. Energy 4 Impact will support Ventura with technical assistance in market research as well as operational and business strategy development. Investment readiness support will also help them package their projects persuasively to raise capital for two of their mini-grid projects that currently remain unfunded.

Obinna Agwu, Managing Director/CEO of Ventura, comments,

We are excited at this opportunity to work with the GET.invest and Energy 4 Impact teams on raising funds for our solar mini-grid projects. It is a hugely welcome development that will help us complete our projects more quickly and scale up our business.

The GET.invest Finance Readiness Support was launched in 2021 to provide early-stage, micro, small and medium-sized local energy companies in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific with hands-on, in-depth business development advice and coaching alongside their fundraising journey. The concept is based on extensive stakeholder consultations and is being further developed in close cooperation with several industry partners in an initial pilot phase. Implemented by eight leading advisory firms, including Energy 4 Impact, the GET.invest Finance Readiness Support will draw upon their networks to support innovative, impactful and scalable businesses. GET.invest is a renewable energy investment mobilisation programme supported by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria.

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