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The Energy Entrepreneurs Growth Fund (EEGF) exceeds target, successfully closing at USD$125M

The Energy Entrepreneurs Growth Fund (EEGF), an initiative led by Shell Foundation, a UK-registered charity, in collaboration with FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, successfully closed its fundraising period on 31 July 2023 with commitments totaling US$125 million, a remarkable leap from its initial round which closed at US$45 million. This achievement signifies a pivotal step towards the goal of extending access to clean energy solutions in underserved regions within Sub-Saharan Africa.

EEGF’s journey has been of transformative impact, driven by the synergy of Triple Jump, a Dutch impact investment manager, overseeing the fund’s portfolio and Persistent, a leading venture builder in the off-grid sector, providing advisory support. As a result of this partnership, EEGF has emerged as a catalyst for early and growth-stage companies operating within the access to energy ecosystem in Sub-Saharan Africa.

As of August 2023, EEGF has already extended financing to 11 firms, with ambitious plans to invest in a minimum of 25 enterprises within the access to energy sector in Sub-Saharan Africa throughout the fund's life cycle.

What makes EEGF standout is its ability to effectively leverage diverse capital investments, predominantly risk-taking debt instruments such as mezzanine. This strategic approach enables the fund to scale up high-potential energy access enterprises, reinforcing its commitment to driving positive change and propelling Sub-Saharan Africa towards a sustainable energy future.

The fund’s success can be attributed to the unwavering support from reputed development financing institutions, including FinDev Canada, the Development Bank of Austria (OeEB), the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC). Notably, the African Development Bank (AfDB) also made a significant contribution through its COVID-relief funding.

Beyond financing, EEGF is proactively fostering the sustainable growth of its investees by offering “Engine Room” operational support. Furthermore, through a dedicated Technical Assistance Facility, EEGF facilitates targeted on-field interventions and capacity development to stimulate positive change for off-grid companies, end-beneficiaries, and the broader ecosystem.

As an impact focused fund, EEGF’s objective is to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goal 7, to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy” for underserved businesses or low-income consumers. The Fund covers both social and environmental objectives that are measured with specific sustainability indicators, EEGF falls within the scope of Article 9 (“dark green”) under the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). This showcases that sustainability and impact are key to the fund's mission, together with transparency and ensuring that investments do not cause any significant harm and meet the fund's ESG requirements.