VentureBuilder and USADF partner to support local off-grid enterprises in Africa

VentureBuilder and the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) announced today their partnership to support indigenous African off-grid solar enterprises to sustainably scale. With over 100 million African households still lacking access to modern energy services, this new partnership supports the development of off-grid solar energy enterprises that can meet the demands of underserved populations.

Through this partnership, announced ahead of the Global Off-Grid Solar Forum (Nairobi Kenya, February 18-20), USADF and VentureBuilder will join forces to leverage each other’s complementary expertise in the sector. VentureBuilder is pioneering an innovative business model by providing ‘patient’ early-stage equity as well as enterprise development services, to off-grid solar enterprises in Africa. Similarly, USADF provides early-stage seed funding in the form of grants, as well as intensive local technical support, to strengthen off-grid energy enterprises’ ability to scale in less mature markets.

VentureBuilder and USADF invest in African-owned enterprises that improve the lives of the most vulnerable and poor in Africa through investments and technical assistance to foster local economic development. As co-investors, they share a commitment to funding only enterprises that are African-owned and managed, and meet rigorous due diligence standards related to governance, operations, and fiduciary matters.

“We’re thrilled to announce this collaboration with USADF, given our shared mission to catalyze a new generation of indigenous off-grid solar businesses across Africa,” said Dan Murphy, Managing Director of VentureBuilder. “USADF’s grant resources will enable VentureBuilder to more efficiently deploy equity into partner companies, and our enterprise development services will accelerate companies’ paths to sustainable scale and impact.”

“The new USADF-VentureBuilder partnership allows us to build on both of our strengths, including USADF’s network of African local implementing partners across Africa,” said C.D. Glin, USADF President and CEO. “Local off-grid energy enterprises will be able to access the three key ingredients they need to grow: a tranche of non-returnable capital that provides them a lower-risk period to get to scale; an investment of r equity that will allow them to grow even further; and local technical assistance to help them overcome the many hurdles that they may face as entrepreneurs.”

About VentureBuilder:

VentureBuilder provides flexible, long-term early-stage financing as well as Enterprise Development Services to African-owned and managed distribution enterprises. VentureBuilder will catalyze a new generation of businesses that deliver affordable, reliable, and sustainable electricity access across Africa. VentureBuilder, co-developed by Catalyst Off-Grid Advisors and Open Capital Advisors since 2017, leverages both companies’ decades of experience in building, advising, and financing off-grid solar companies. The development phase was made possible with support from Facebook, who committed additional financing alongside the DOEN Foundation, Shell Foundation, and USAID for VentureBuidler’s implementation phase. To learn more, visit us at

About the United States African Development Foundation (USADF):

The U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) is an independent U.S. government agency established by Congress to invest in African grassroots organizations, entrepreneurs and small- and medium-sized enterprises. USADF’s investments promote local economic development by increasing incomes, revenues and jobs, and creating pathways to prosperity for marginalized populations and underserved communities. Utilizing a community-led development approach, USADF provides seed capital and local project management assistance improving lives and impacting livelihoods while addressing some of Africa’s biggest challenges around food insecurity, insufficient energy access, and unemployment, particularly among women and youth. Over the last five years, throughout Africa, with an emphasis on the Horn, Sahel and Great Lakes regions, USADF has invested more than $115 million dollars directly into over 1000 African-owned and operated entities and impacted over four million lives.

In Paris: Thao Fabregas:
In Washington: Afia Frempong:





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