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.
About Shell Foundation
Shell Foundation is an endowed, UK-registered charity that catalyzes off-grid energy innovation and unlocks inclusive investments in Africa and India, empowering millions of underserved customers – of which half are women – to earn a living income. Shell Foundation’s support of the EEGF is provided in partnership with the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) as part of the £60m Transforming Inclusive Energy Markets programme.
FMO is the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank. As a leading impact investor, FMO supports sustainable private sector growth in developing countries and emerging markets by investing in ambitious projects and entrepreneurs. FMO believes that a strong private sector leads to economic and social development and has a 50+ year proven track-record in enabling entrepreneurs to make local economies more inclusive, productive, resilient and sustainable. FMO focuses on three sectors that have high development impact: Agribusiness, Food & Water, Energy, and Financial Institutions. With a total committed portfolio of EUR ~12 billion spanning over 85 countries, FMO is one of the larger bilateral private sector development banks globally. For more information: please visit www.fmo.nl
About FindDev Canada
FinDev Canada is Canada’s bilateral development finance institution. It supports development through the private sector in emerging markets and developing economies with financing, investment, blended finance solutions and technical assistance. It aims to promote sustainable and inclusive growth, focusing on climate action, women’s economic empowerment and market development in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement commitments. FinDev Canada is a Canadian Crown corporation and a subsidiary of Export Development Canada (EDC).
OeEB was founded in March 2008, as the Development Bank of the Republic of Austria. OeEB finances and supports projects in developing countries and emerging markets that are economically sustainable and have positive impacts on development.
The Nordic Development Fund (NDF) is a joint Nordic International Finance Institution (IFI) established by an intergovernmental treaty between Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden in 1988. NDF’s 2025 Strategy entails increased focus on adaptation financing and accelerating progress in gender equality. An increasing share of NDF’s flexible and catalytic financing will be targeted towards lower-income countries and countries in fragile situations.
The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is the United States Government's development finance institution. DFC partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today. We invest across sectors including energy, healthcare, infrastructure, agriculture, and small business and financial services. DFC investments adhere to high standards and respect the environment, human rights, and worker rights.
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB), is a multilateral development finance institution established to contribute to the economic development and social progress of in regional members countries (RMCs), thus contributing to poverty reduction. The Bank Group achieves this objective by mobilizing and allocating resources for investment in RMCs and providing policy advice and technical assistance to support development efforts, including from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa and Global Environment Facility for the COVID-19 Off-Grid Recovery Platform.
About Triple Jump
Triple Jump is a Dutch impact-focused investment manager that provides meaningful and responsible investment opportunities in developing countries. By providing financing and support to companies in emerging markets, Triple Jump empowers entrepreneurs to significantly contribute to solving global challenges like poverty, inequality and climate change. Triple Jump has offices in Amsterdam, Nairobi, Lima, Mexico-City, Tbilisi and Bangkok.
Persistent is Africa’s Climate Venture Builder. Persistent is composed of impact driven venture capitalists who are leading experts and pioneer investors in Africa climate tech. They invest in and build commercially successful businesses that address the climate crisis across energy, agriculture, mobility and the circular economy. With headquarters in Nairobi and team members in Lagos, Dakar, Goma, Kampala, New York and Zurich, Persistent invests financial capital and human resources through its Venture Building model, focusing on ideation and early growth stage.