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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.

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.

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.

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