Boreal Light GmbH
Water desalniation, Kenya
GreenTec Capital Partners invests in African start-ups and SMEs with a focus on combining social and environmental impact with financial success. We use capacity building, process optimization and a diverse team of international experts to help them implement and adapt the latest technologies to their models so they can extend their value chains and have more impact locally. Our mandate is to maintain at least 75 percent impact focused enterprises and we aspire to grow 400 companies by 2023.
Jointly, we seek to transform innovative local businesses with a proof-of-concept into successful and sustainable enterprises that have growth perspective in Africa and beyond. We do more than just invest: We provide custom-tailored operational support to transform companies and help them create the additional added value necessary to bridge funding gaps and early crucial phases.
Our risk-curating approach enables investors and strategic partners to safely participate in the value-creating transformation of companies at different stages with various risk profiles while doing good. Most of our portfolio companies have already received investment and several award. In 2017, we were awarded the German Development Award by the Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft (CDG) and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
We invest into three broad categories that are positioned for growth connected with the rapidly increasing young African population. We focus on solutions, products, and services with Pan-African expansion potential, high impact, and strong returns.
By 2030 we expect the size of the African agriculture market to reach 1 trillion US-Dollars.
Sustainable resources are essential to meet the growing demographic needs of Africa.
Digitalization will be the driver for a sustainable transformation across various sectors.
We are looking to support entrepreneurs operating in Africa who are positioned to grow their businesses and need additional capacity, expertise, technology and funding in order to extend their impact and add value.
We rank investment attractiveness through a proprietary country scoring model based on certain public domain criteria.
Unemployment is a prevailing problem across Africa, slated to surpass 7% in the Sub-Saharan region with more than 1 million unemployed. Development is also impacted limited access to energy and digital connectivity for members of the BOP. While mobile phone adoption is over 70% in Rwanda, less than 30% of the population has access to electricity. Even as mobile and smartphone usage increases, consistent access to the internet is low, limiting educational and development opportunities. Further, there are few employment and business opportunities for uneducated or unskilled workers. ARED addresses this problem with its Mobile Shiriki Hub, a mobile solar kiosk designed as a business-in-a-box that provides key services for mobile device users, providing a sustainable business and all the tools necessary for success.
The accompanying video, produced by Deutsche Welle, highlights the story of one of ARED’s franchisees, Claudine Kamikazi. Claudine operates a kiosk by Kigali’s central bus station. She chose to become an ARED franchisee because “it was something new” and she needed a job to supplement her family’s income. Being a kiosk operator means that she is an independent operator, her own boss, and can therefore set her own hours. Earnings from kiosk sales provide her a monthly income of around 100 US dollars, which is about double the average salary in Rwanda. Combined with her husband’s salary, they earn enough to pay their children’s school fees and live a modest, but secure life in Kigali.
Uganda’s agricultural sector contributes heavily to the country’s GDP and employs approximately 75% of the rural population. Yet, despite its importance of agriculture to Uganda’s economy there are few opportunities for rurally living youth and farmers to develop and improve their farms. With limited access to markets, financing, or job opportunities a majority of rural farmers remain in poverty with limited opportunities for advancement. Since 2007, DML has grown its outgrower network to more than 50,000 farmers. Organizing them into Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs), DML provides them with in-kind loans of agricultural inputs as well as training and premium prices for their harvests, improving farmers’ economic outcomes and improving rural employment opportunities.
Orisa Raphael Jawino, CEO of DML, said that he first realized that his model was not just working, but really helping, a few years into his project. He began to notice on farm visits that his outgrower farmers’ houses were improving. Season by season, he noticed more farmers using better materials in their houses and building walls around their house plots. The next season they would add sheet-metal roofs. Although he could show from his accounts that rural production was increasing and so were the revenues generated by both DML and its outgrowers, seeing the villages where his farmers lived improved made his impact tangible for him.
Nigeria has the highest farm output in Africa and is among the world’s top-ten highest producing agricultural economies. Approximately one third of Nigeria’s workforce is employed in the agricultural sector and close to 87% of its population engage in agriculture as an economic activity. Despite the high output, Nigeria struggles to meet its own subsistence needs and relies upon imports to satisfy demand. Nigeria’s agricultural sector suffers extremely low productivity, due to reliance upon age-old farming techniques and farmers’ limited access to financing. Only 2.5% of Nigeria’s smallholder farmers have access to financing or credit, limiting their ability to expand or improve their farms. Even farmers who can access credit are limited by problems of timely loan disbursement and very high interest rates. Farmcrowdy addresses farmers’ access to finance through an innovative agricultural platform that partners farmers with sponsors to mutual benefit, providing an alternate source of finance to improve their farms.
One of Farmcrowdy’s outgrowers is Patience Arthur-Akpan. She is 23 years old and lives in the Onna Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom State in Souther Nigeria. As an aspiring university student, financial hardship and family obligations forced her to give up her studies and work with her family on their farm. Through working with Farmcrowdy, Patience was able to earn enough to save up for school fees and return to her studies in Sociology at the University of Uyo, in Akwa Ibom State.
Two-thirds of Sub-Saharan Africa’s land mass is arid or semiarid and more than 300 million of the 800 million people living there suffer from severe water shortages with less than 1000m3 of water per year per person. This water scarcity exists, not from a physical lack of water, but rather that the investments in water resources and relevant human capacity are not substantial enough to meet the existing demand for clean water for drinking and agricultural purposes. Across Sub-Saharan Africa millions of people are forced to collect water from easily contaminable surface or rain water sources or to travel long distances to purchase water of equally questionable quality. Boreal Light’s Water Kiosks can produce clean and hygienic water from brackish or sea-water sources, solving these problems of water access and scarcity.
Boreal Light’s first Water Kiosk was installed on Wasini Island, which lies near the Tanzanian border. Prior to Boreal Light commencing operations on the island, locals were forced to import water at high cost by boat from Mombasa, or to rely on intermittently available rainwater collection. Since the kiosk’s introduction it has provided 3 permanent jobs and 2 part-time jobs, in addition to 5,000 liters of desalinated water daily for the island’s residents.
Now the situation has changed: recently, with two kiosks installed on Wasini Island, the islander no longer need to rely upon rainwater or expensive water imported from Mombasa. And not just the islanders are benefiting. People have been coming from the Kenyan mainland to purchase water from the kiosks on the island. The accompanying image shows a young man unloading a 20L bottle of Boreal Light’s Water on the shore at Shimoni village on the Kenyan mainland. Now people come to Wasini for clean water.
We offer start-ups individually tailored operational support packages designed around mutually agreed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) connected to company development and funding.More
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