FSD Africa Investments (FSDAi) is the investing arm of FSD Africa, a UK International Development funded regional program operating in more than 30 countries from its Kenya base, to make finance work for Africa’s future. While FSD Africa supports market development through advocacy, thought leadership, and capacity support, FSDAi makes investments in support of these policy objectives in novel financial instruments, facilities and intermediaries that can accelerate the role of finance in Africa’s green economic growth. As a private company limited by shares, FSDAi’s shareholders include both FSD Africa and the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).
Persistent held two, “Climate Connects,” events as its contribution to the discussions and initiatives of the Africa Climate Summit (ACS23) and Africa Climate Week (ACW23). The events, held on the 6th and 7th of September brought together over 250 investors, industry stakeholders, partners as well as innovative startups and entrepreneurs to foster collaboration and innovation in the African climate sector.
The Persistent Networking Reception on September 6th marked the first phase of “Climate Connects,” bringing together a diverse group of investors, industry partners and other climate advocates. The reception provided a platform for forging new connections and learning more about Persistent’s planned $100 million Africa Climate Venture Builder Fund. The fund was introduced by Wairimu Karanja, Persistent Partner and CLO, along with a keynote from May Yego from FSD Africa. The fund’s strategy underscores Persistent’s dedication to invest in African startups tackling climate change, by blending financial investment and vital human capital support.
“FSDAi’s distinctive investment approach focuses on backing ambitious management teams with innovative financing solutions that fill a critical gap in the existing financial system. By anchoring the Africa Climate Venture Builder Fund, FSDAi seeks to support an investor with a strong appetite for proof-of-concept investment risk, crucial for propelling scalable green energy and climate change mitigation solutions. Diverging from conventional norms, where early-stage ventures are typically disregarded, Persistent distinguishes itself by championing risk-taking and democratizing capital access for these impactful green ventures.”
Continuing the momentum from the Networking Reception, Persistent’s “Start-it-up” Breakfast on September 7th was co-hosted by FSDAi. The Breakfast featured a keynote speech from Amos Gachuiri, Senior Investment Manager at FSD Africa Investments, who shared:
“FSDAi is delighted to work with Persistent to address the disproportionate adverse impacts of climate change on Africa. By venture-building the early-stage ventures focusing on climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience, Persistent makes it more likely that these ventures succeed. In turn, these ventures provide greener, affordable and accessible energy, improve access to reliable essential products and services, create jobs, and improve incomes – conditions necessary for resilience.”
Michael Franz, Program Lead of GET.invest participated during the “Start-it-up” Breakfast, and shared his motivational journey at GIZ and GET.invest, followed by Kim Chepkoit representing Persistent’s partner company Ecobodaa.
“The current funding landscape does not match the actual needs of the market. Therefore, we need more equity, smaller ticket sizes – at least initially, and capable intermediaries that effectively deliver. We need to empower those companies who can eventually go to scale, supporting start-ups and innovation to build the champions of tomorrow.” says Michael Franz.
Kim Chepkoit says: “Persistent’s venture building expertise has been instrumental in building our internal capacity and helping us structure our processes. This immersive experience also helps the venture builders gain localized context of the market within which the investees are operating.”
The event continued with personalized one-on-one meetings between attending companies and Persistent venture builders. The meetings offered an opportunity for entrepreneurs to directly discuss their opportunities and challenges with our experienced Venture Builders.
Africa Climate Week was an important opportunity for the continent to come together to discuss how to address the climate crisis. We are proud to have played a role in this conversation, and we would like to thank all of the attendees, speakers, and partners who made it to our event.
Wairimu Karanja, Partner and CLO at Persistent shares: “Having Nairobi host and participating in Africa Climate Week and the Summit was an honor. The Nairobi Declaration by African governments was a hallmark. It is great to see commitments by international financiers to increase climate impact funding, especially in the run-up to COP28. Our Climate Connects events were evidence of the great need for hands-on venture building of African startups. The support from FSDAi, GET.invest and other investors and ecosystem stakeholders was beyond our expectations.”