Investing today for a better tomorrow
We are FS Impact Finance,
a specialised investment firm, regulated by the German Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and registered with the Luxemburg Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF). Our team consists of global investment professionals with a particular focus on developing countries and emerging markets. With a strong foothold in micro and SME finance, we provide a variety of financing solutions seeking to reduce poverty, promote economic growth and have a positive impact on our environment.
What sets us apart is our openness to testing new ideas and our lean organisational structure.
As an independent group company
of the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, one of Europe’s leading business schools, we share the same vision as our shareholder: delivering excellence in management and finance. Our investment priorities are centred around Frankfurt School’s focus topics, going beyond education: the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, renewable energy and climate finance, and forward looking to blockchain and artificial intelligence.
We see ourselves as a complementary pillar to fulfilling Frankfurt School’s academic and consultancy missions, with FS Impact Finance pursuing the highest standards in professional impact investment, offering custom-made investment solutions at the forefront of today’s topics.
With its projects FS Impact Finance tackles 10 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These Goals, also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.
Partner & employee feedback
Straight-forward and solution-oriented
We became a beneficiary under the Seed Capital Assistance Facility in late 2011, after our first renewable energy fund was raised. Martin and his team helped us get started when we set up operations in Nairobi. With the support of the facility we were able to hire our first local project director in Kenya.
Moreover, we received essential support during the early stage development phases for several geothermal, wind and hydropower projects in East Africa. Particularly the development grants received for our 5.4MW Lubilia run-of-river hydropower project in Western Uganda to perform early stage environmental assessments and feasibility studies were paramount in getting the project across the finish line. The straight-forward and solution-oriented approach of the FS Impact Finance team makes this one of the rare public-private financing mechanisms that actually works for us.
Helping hands-on during the toughest moments
The earthquake of April 16, 2016 that hit the Ecuadorian coast was a very tough test that made us at Fundación ESPOIR emerge from the downturn in a stronger position thanks to our great team of employees, the resilience of our clients in the affected areas and the invaluable support received from our international funders. FS Impact Finance played a very important role, not only because it invited all the lenders to reach an agreement and sign a memorandum of understanding, but also collected monetary support for our staff that suffered damages to their homes, in total 46 families working at ESPOIR benefited from it.
Throughout our business relationship, FS Impact Finance firmly demonstrated that it is not only our partner in fighting poverty through the provision of microcredit, but also in helping hands-on during the toughest moments.
Hands-on and flexible approach
As a first-time fund manager, setting up a private equity fund focused on sustainable and high impact small and medium enterprises in Ethiopia was challenging. We went through a lot of ups and downs during our fund-raising efforts to reach first close. Andrea Bode and Martin Cremer believed in our approach and our team from very early on. This enabled us to get access to crucial financing from the Seed Capital Assistance Facility.
Thanks to their continued support we were able to close our fund at USD 75 million in early 2018 and reimburse all grants, to be re-used for other start-up funds. The hands-on and flexible approach by the whole FS Impact Finance team was pivotal in getting us off the ground.
I like finding solutions. It’s not about thinking outside the box, it’s about changing the parameters of the box. At FS Impact Finance, we truly strive for the triple bottom-line: finding the business solutions that can make the world more sustainable for people and planet. I’ve been given the freedom to work where I most want to. Unsurprisingly, it’s a region with many problems, but I’m given the patience, the support, the encouragement to learn and grow, which is great because I have a bigger box of tools with which to work – finding those solutions.
Exactly what I was searching for
With FS Impact Finance I found an attractive employer who offered exactly what I was searching for: a challenging and exciting job in the sector I am passionate about, with huge potential to grow and flexibility at the same time.
I joined FS Impact Finance coming from an industry sector which is highly attractive for impact investing in emerging economies. Without major financial expertise, but a strong background in consulting, I quickly grew into the role as Investment Manager for the Restoration Seed Capital Facility. Supported by the right training and learning on the job, I benefitted from a steep learning curve and quickly adopted the new role and responsibilities within a pleasant environment. Things I enjoy most are the flexibility, the possibility to actively drive change and impact and the team spirit.
A proactive and committed partner
At UN Environment we developed the Seed Capital Assistance Facility in 2010 with the aim of mobilising private sector investment in early-stage low-carbon projects in developing countries. We were then looking for a proactive and committed partner to implement it. Derek, Andrea and Martin have been instrumental in making this facility operate effectively for the last nine years, successfully covering all tasks, ranging from identification of local partners, to due diligence, contracting as well as monitoring and oversight.
Today, the facility has been refinanced and expanded, emphasising the success and necessity for this unique kind of project support in challenging markets. The achievements of the team are underlined by considerable interest to replicate in other sectors, such as forestry or clean oceans.
An inspiring environment
At FS Impact Finance we don’t go down the easy route. We take on some of the most pressing issues of our time – issues for which there is no quick fix or standard toolbox. And we are given the time it takes to develop new ideas and concepts. It’s inspiring to work in such an environment, especially with people who really want to change things for the better.
The best thing that happened to us as a startup
Meeting Andreas Küppers was the best thing that happened to us as a startup. In terms of project management he was a helpful and smart partner. He knew exactly what our issues in the start up phase were and wasn’t just helpful but guided us in the right direction. And two years after he still cares about our wellbeing as a company. Great guy.
We received funding for the initial remodeling of our office space and he was the one pointing out city funding for creative spaces. Everything went smooth from the first draft of our business plan to the actual funding. We recommend every start up to get in touch with FS Impact Finance.
SMART CREDIT is a very development-orientated microfinance institution based in Ungheni, Moldova. For a young organization like ours that traditionally does not have access to the deep pockets of international shareholders, refinancing support at an early stage of the development is of utmost importance.
Luckily, I came across FS Impact Finance, that has an in-depth understanding of microfinance and the needs of institutions like SMART CREDIT. In a very professional manner, the whole FS Impact Finance team supported us as one of the first international lenders and enabled us to further grow our portfolio. Beyond their direct funding support, I was given useful insights for acquiring further refinancing. I can whole-heartedly recommend the entire FS Impact Finance team a as trustful partner for cooperation.