New Development Bank
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Online impact investing platform Lendahand Ethex and next generation utility, BBOXX, have announced today the start of a new Energise Africa partnership accessing for the first time, flexible finance from the UK crowd.

The initiative aims to raise a total of £2.5 million ($4 million) through a series of smaller investment offers, allowing BBOXX to extend its rollout of solar systems across Rwanda, Togo, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria.

“Working with Lendahand Ethex as crowdfunding via their Energise Africa campaign represents an exciting mechanism to help us access critical finance to achieve our objectives. This raise is part of the first credit facility of many, which is likely to result in up to £10 million ($14 million) of retail investment over the next few years, providing an estimated 100,000 households in Africa with access to clean and affordable energy,” said Mansoor Hamayun, CEO, BBOXX.

UK aid will be providing matched funding of 25% of the campaign value to boost the impact of UK social impact investors. Read more: Crowd investment raises $1.2m for off-grid systems

Energise Africa was launched last year with financial support from UK aid and Virgin Unite with the objective to accelerate progress towards the achievement of the UN agreed Global Goal 7 – to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030.

Investing in solar businesses

Energise Africa makes it simple and straight forward for eligible retail investors through to more experienced investors to invest in solar businesses that can deliver a clear social, environmental and financial return.

The first Energise Africa project for BBOXX will focus on Rwanda and aims to raise £250,000 ($353,000) of investment in order to provide clean energy to 2,500 families.

According to a joint media statement, investors in this BBOXX bond offer will also generate a potential annual return of 5% over a 36-month period and these returns can also be held tax free within an Innovative Finance ISA. Capital is at risk and returns are not guaranteed.

Danny den Hartog, Managing Director Lendahand Ethex, said:  “We are really excited to be working with BBOXX, connecting them with our growing UK retail investor base who are motivated to make investments to support the acceleration and achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goal 7 – universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030.”

African Utility Week