GreenTec Capital GmbH
Award winner 2017 Category B
Innovation for Development
GreenTec Capital is a young company based in Eschborn, Germany, that gives start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing and emerging countries a helping hand as they enter the business world. It is already operating in Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda.
The investment company uses an approach specifically tailored to developing countries to support African entrepreneurs in their work to establish strong and sustainable businesses. As an investor, GreenTec Capital provides the financial foundations for a successful market launch while also offering inexperienced entrepreneurs technical assistance in actively shaping their business. GreenTec Capital is also an ‘impact investor’, which means that, when selecting the start-ups to support, it takes account of the impact and influence they will have and also their potential to become market leaders in their particular sectors.
The company’s distinctive approach and project results
The standout feature is the interdependency between the African start-up entrepreneurs and GreenTec, and the close collaboration between them. As GreenTec invests in the African businesses as a shareholder, it has a say in setting objectives and in the implementation process during the initial start-up phase. Its constant presence and support during difficult or tricky periods is crucial: GreenTec plays an active part in the business and is involved in both the financial and organisational side. Thanks to this distinctive approach, investment in African companies has already created 1,500 jobs across all sections of society and provided 40,000 people with access to clean energy.
An additional factor is that GreenTec only makes money from its investment if the strategies take root and the desired outcome of adding value is accomplished. This keeps risk levels low for the African companies and makes cooperation more attractive.
How the prize money is used
GreenTec Capital has set out to expand its business activities to include at least 50 companies by 2020, by offering a variety of services such as consulting, local operations, mentoring and funding, but also active shareholding. The EUR 25,000 prize money is used to further this ambition – with 10 companies to be added to GreenTec’s portfolio in the near future.