Crowdfunding platform launched for African renewable energy startups

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The African Biofuel and Renewable Energy Company (ABREC), an international organisation founded by African states and financial institutions to promote the continent’s transition to clean energy, has launched a crowdfunding platform for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operating in the Sub-Saharan renewable energy sector.

The new platform – ABREC.FinanceUtile – was developed jointly with French crowdfunding platform FinanceUtile and, unlike traditional crowdfunding platforms, will provide more than simply access to finance.

It is intended to support entrepreneurs in the renewable energy space by facilitating the transfer of know-how and technology, while also boosting access to reliable electricity generation in sub-Saharan Africa.

The platform will be supported by a team of specialists that will evaluate the commercial and technical merits of submitted projects, consider the levels of finance required, and provide project management expertise to SMEs to facilitate delivery of their projects.

“With access to experts in the renewable energy sector, the ABREC.FinanceUtile team will provide practical support to successful applicants throughout their respective projects’ lifecycles,” ABREC said.

Applicants selected to raise project finance through ABREC.FinanceUtile will be able to seek funding for an amount between EUR500,000 (US$530,000) and EUR5 million (US$5.3 million). Successful applicants will also be able to draw on advice and support from ABREC.FinanceUtile, including on how to structure their business models and receiving general project management and delivery support.

Renewable energy – especially solar – has become an especially attractive investment destination in Africa in recent years. There are a number of exciting startups operating in the space, with Off Grid Electric, Fenix, M-KOPA Solar, Angaza and Oolu among those that have raised impressive funding rounds. Solar startups were also declared the winners at local Seedstars World competitions in Kenya and Tanzania.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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