Persistent hosted its first Climate Venture Building Conference, in Nairobi on Thursday October 26, 2022. The gathering involved over 130 participants from a wide range of organizations active in the climate positive sector in Africa: entrepreneurs, institutional investors, development finance institutions, consultants and experts in the field. The full day event was an example of Persistent’s commitment to have a collaborative approach to accelerate the development of the climate positive sectors, contributing to strengthen the venture ecosystem with knowledge sharing, webinars and publications.
The conference included panel discussions and presentations made by industry experts and the leaders of Persistent’s partner companies (Altech, Beacon Power Services, Candi, Carbon Clear, Ecobodaa, Hohm Energy, Oolu, Rensource, SolarTaxi, SolarWorks! and Tri). There were discussions on electric vehicle mobility, off-grid solar for consumers and businesses, energy efficiency, carbon credit monetization and venture building techniques. The insights shared reflected the challenges faced by entrepreneurs, the opportunities and the diversity of solutions proposed to drive social impact and address climate change across the African continent.
According to the June 2022 Climate Policy Initiative- FSD Africa report on the state of climate finance in Africa, by 2030, $2.8 trillion is needed to address climate change on the continent. Yet not enough companies are getting started in Africa to meet the clean energy and climate action Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) articulated by the UN and ascribed to by all African member countries. Persistent’s venture building model builds startups that will help African countries meet this challenge. Persistent does so not only by providing early-stage investment capital, but also filling the gaps and complementing the entrepreneur’s strengths with skilled human capital.
Evans Osano, Director of Capital Markets at Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSD Africa), delivered a Keynote Address in which he shared an overview of FSD Africa’s pioneering work to develop capital markets in Africa and the intersection with Persistent’s work of venture building climate-positive start-ups across the continent. According to Mr. Osano, Persistent’s innovative venture building model is the motivation behind FSD Africa’s support, through its investment arm FSDAi, in Persistent’s recent Series C fundraise and Persistent’s new $50-70 Million Fund to be launched in 2023.
According to Masashi Mizoguchi, Managing Director, Kyuden international, and Board member at Persistent, “hearing the entrepreneurs share openly about their successes and challenges and what more can be done in venture building showed the great need that Persistent is addressing in the African climate sector.”
Persistent Partner, Wairimu Karanja, shared her main highlights from the conference as, “Our investors were able to see our work first-hand, and market players got to share knowledge. We are privileged to be making a tangible difference to African climate-positive entrepreneurs with our hands-on venture building approach and we aim to do more as we launch our climate venture building Fund.”
We are very grateful for the numerous participants that attended the conference and their active contribution to discussions, especially those who made the journey from outside of Nairobi and even traveled from other continents. The conference was also live streamed with numerous participants joining online and the recordings of the sessions will be available shortly.