Africa Trust Group (ATG) is pleased to announce new funding from Shell Foundation, a UK charity that helps create and scale business solutions to enhance access to energy and supports people living in low-income communities.
This grant has been provided as part of the CASEE partnership between Shell Foundation and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). The funding will be utilised as a learning grant into ATG’s Empress Fund – an innovative financing instrument vehicle that invests in early stage women-owned Agri, energy and climate businesses on the African continent.
About Shell Foundation (SF)
Shell Foundation a UK-registered charity, founded by Shell in 2000, aims to assist low-income communities by funding business solutions to enhance access to energy and affordable transport. This grant will be targeted at women’s businesses that operate within both the agriculture and energy sectors.
About The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)
FCDO leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty. We are tackling the global challenges of our time including poverty and disease, mass migration, insecurity and conflict. Our work is building a safer, healthier, more prosperous world for people in developing countries and in the UK too.
About Africa Trust Group (ATG)
The Empress Fund, launched in July 2020, is an angel syndicate investment fund that seeks to provide innovative financing vehicles fit for purpose and context to women entrepreneurs in Africa. There is an approximated $3+ trillion global funding gap for businesses that do not meet venture capital requirements nor have enough assets to meet collateral requirements of traditional lending, with the majority of this gap impacting women entrepreneurs. By investing in these businesses at an early stage, the fund helps to drive their success and tackle the dearth of opportunity available to African women entrepreneurs.
“This partnership celebrates our mutual vision to support sustainable projects that have the power to drive real change in Africa,” said Lelemba Phiri, Principal at ATG. “The agriculture and energy sectors are particularly exciting spaces for alternative financing. We are seeing more and more women innovating and uplifting their communities in these sectors but still attracting less funding and so we’re proud to be able to give them the tools and funding they need to do scale.”
The Empress fund plans to raise R50 million blended finance over the next year that will all go towards addressing this gap for women entrepreneurs. It offers innovative products that are better suited to this market such as drawdown accounts, non-asset backed lending and non-dilutive revenue-based financing. Agile solutions that fit the market can be the difference between a thriving business and one that stalls.
The funding from Shell Foundation supports ATG’s vision to drive economic growth and development in Africa through early-stage gender-lens investing. More details on ATG can be found at www.africatrustgroup.com.
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