Partner Spotlight: Gaia Impact Fund

The GAIA Impact Fund is an impact investment fund, based in France that seeks to empower innovative entrepreneurs in the renewable energy field. Gaia Impact Fund specializes in renewable energy investments with a high focus on start-ups, SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprise), and infrastructure projects that have a strong social and environmental focal point. Their vision is to foster the development of renewable energies by empowering innovative entrepreneurs.

 

Financing is a significant problem in the clean energy value chain. Lack of access to funding is often a barrier that hampers the entrepreneurs to implement and scale their solutions. Providing easy and reliable access to finance is crucial in delivering energy to Bottom-of-the-Pyramid (BoP) communities. By financing and supporting clean energy entrepreneurs, local economies can be strengthened and local ecosystems can be preserved.

 

Child studying at night using a solar lamp. Photo credit: Easy Solar

GAIA Impact Fund’s approach includes a long-term partnership with entrepreneurs based on trust and efficiency. Candidate companies go through a rigorous selection process that combines an impact assessment (social and environmental impact) with an analysis of the financial security of their business model. Depending on the results of the impact assessment, Gaia Impact Fund tailor investments to the project. Ventures focused on by Gaia Impact Fund include renewable energy producers, installers, manufacturers, engineering, maintenance & monitoring, new green technologies, and access to energy (SHS, Solar Pico Systems, Pay-as-you-go models, microgrids, etc.).

 

Gaia Impact Fund realized five investments in Africa and South-east Asia for their first year of operations. As an example, Gaia Impact Fund has invested in Hybrid Social Solutions (HSSi), which is a social distribution company founded in June 2010 in the Philippines to empower rural communities through renewable energy sources, primarily solar energy.

The cooperation between HSSi and Gaia Impact Fund aims to enable rural communities to access solar solutions on a sustainable basis while creating local jobs and community development. In particular, the purpose of this agreement is to support HSSi’s plans to expand its network of Solar Hubs by financing the opening and development of two new Solar Hubs.