Peer-to-peer impact investment platform Charm Impact has successfully raised $355,046 to finance early-stage clean energy entrepreneurs in developing economies.
Working through crowdfunding site Crowdcube, Charm Impact surpassed its initial goal by 273% to raise money to provide debt finance, focusing on companies that provide clean energy. They work with companies targeting communities in developing economies that lack access to electricity and clean cooking, with a dedicated focus on supporting local entrepreneurs and an investment lens for gender diversity.
Charm Impact says it will use the funds to scale up operations over the next three years, expand their team and become regulated by the UK financial regulatory body, Financial Conduct Authority. This will allow them to launch more projects, increase their portfolio of support entrepreneurs and expand their geographical reach.
Since their founding in 2018, Charm Impact has been supported by Innovate UK’s Energy Catalyst programme, Energy 4 Impact’s Crowd Power initiative and the Good Energies Foundation. They currently manage 5 active loans across West Africa and India. Charm Impact provides loans of up to 24 months, ranging between $12,991 (£10,000) and $324,782 (£250,000).
With no defaults across the portfolio Charm’s go-to-market model has been refined and is ready to scale. Charm co-founder Gavriel Landau: “For the energy access sector to truly scale over the long term, there is a dire need to support the advancement of early-stage, locally owned companies. Charm is uniquely positioned to support these businesses and accelerate the growth of the companies that will become an investment pipeline for later-stage investors.”
The Energy Revolution Africa webinar for the Digital Energy Festival’s AUW PGAF component on 25 November will discuss scaling up energy businesses. Make sure to sign up for the webinar Building resilient incomes to ensure sustainable business models.