New $22.5M Green Fund Finances African Businesses That Want To save The Planet

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Written by Dana Sanchez

A South African financial services company has launched a $22.5-million fund to finance businesses in the green economy that are dedicated to “saving the planet” and “doing the right thing,” BizNisAfrica reports.

Business Partners Limited, which describes itself as a risk financier, launched the Green Fund today for profit-seeking companies.

Businesses that qualify for financing could range from energy or emissions-saving products and services to renewable energy providers, recycling, waste management and green building services.

The fund will also consider financing businesses working to protect biodiversity and ecosystems, produce healthier food, or conserve natural resources.

“We are seeking to finance businesses which actively develop, manufacture and provide goods and services aimed at saving the planet, as well as those businesses that are doing the right thing by implementing … technology which reduce their adverse impact on the environment,” said Nazeem Martin, managing director of Business Partners, at the launch in Cape Town.

Entrepreneurs could qualify for a $3,760 interest-free loan for their businesses  from the fund. The fund will have a dedicated team to help with the application process.

The Business Partners Limited Green Fund will provide from $37,000 up to $2.25 million in start-up funding, property financing and expansion capital.

Small and medium enterprises make up 91 percent of formalized businesses in South Africa and contribute more than 60 percent of new jobs created, according to Martin. “We believe by equipping SME entrepreneurs to thrive in the green economy, we can enhance their contribution to the economy and the environment,” he said.

South Africa got $5.5 billion of the $8 billion in renewable energy investments made in Africa in 2014, according to Southern African Development Community Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Status Report.

Yet South Africa is one of the world’s most carbon-intensive economies, accounting for nearly half of Africa’s carbon emissions, Martin said. It’s the 12th largest carbon emitter globally. Given its rich alternative energy sources, the country could reduce its unsustainable levels of carbon emissions through increasing renewable energy. “And, the knock-on effect for economic growth and job creation from investing in these new alternative energy sectors will be substantial,” he said.

The South African government said it wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 34 percent by 2020 and 42 percent by 2025, according to BizNisAfrica.