My Internship at GreenTec Capital Partners by Jana Kiesslich

Frankfurt (Germany), April 2018. 

When I applied for GreenTec I did not know what to expect at first. The firm is a specialized investment company focusing on developing African start-ups and impact investment. Although I am currently a business student, the whole idea seemed very abstract, linking together buzzwords I recognized from class, but I didn’t have a clear picture of what I was getting into.

During my internship, I had the opportunity to work a range of different aspects of the company’s activities including working with the communications, company building, and finance teams. From working at a start-up, I was able to see how each of these teams came together to reach the company’s goals. I especially liked to work in such a open and flexible work environment, everything is very personal and the team always helped me out if I had any problems. The GreenTec Team are incredible guys and I felt comfortable right at the beginning. There was always room for some fun, and some after-work beers.

My internship at GreenTec was fascinating because I was exposed to a very wide range of activities around GreenTec’s mission to develop African start-ups. There was always something new to learn or work on, and it was really interesting to be actively involved in areas I had only been exposed to in business textbooks. It was a very eye-opening experience to work with a team from so many diverse backgrounds and to be exposed to such novel business concepts.

The company focuses on Impact Investment, a term I was loosely familiar with before joining. Impact Investment differs from traditional investment in that investors are also seeking to achieve positive results, whether social or environmental in addition to a financial return. The company applies a unique “Results4Equity” model, where they help African companies develop their businesses exchange for equity when business goals are achieved. I found this business model very interesting, since the company must really pick good start-ups to benefit from being paid in shares.

I learned about GreenTec through a personal connection, and although I didn’t have a good idea of what the company did, I had the sense that I wanted to learn more. GreenTec Capital Partners was founded in 2015 by co-founders Erick Yong and Thomas Festerling. Both founders had extensive experience in business and finance and connected over a jointly shared desire to make the world a better place and, of course, to make a little money while doing it. The company has grown significantly over the last years and I think they will achieve their ambitious goals. I very much enjoyed my experience, and would recommend it to any intern who has an interest in Africa or Impact Investment

Jana Kiesslich