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Ethex to Join Prime Minister on First Trip to Africa


Oxford, 27 August, 2018

Ethex, which alongside leading crowdfunding platform Lendahand has launched Energise Africa, an initiative which provides working capital to solar businesses, is joining the Prime Minister on her first visit to the continent this week.

29 senior business leaders from across the country will be representing the very best of British business in technology, infrastructure and financial and professional services.

Ethex, which alongside leading crowdfunding platform Lendahand has launched Energise Africa, an initiative which provides working capital to solar businesses, will be travelling alongside the Prime Minister. Visiting South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya over the course of the trip, they will meet with leading businesses, policy makers and entrepreneurs in order to build new investment, trading and export ties between the UK and these emerging markets.

Energise Africa’s aim is to provide clean electricity to more than 110,000 households in Sub Saharan Africa by 2021, working with solar companies to launch affordable monthly payment plans for customers.

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“Ethex is a fantastic example of how innovative thinking from UK companies is driving real change across the globe, and the success of their partnerships with solar businesses operating in Africa is proof of the wealth of opportunities open to UK firms across the continent.

I’m delighted that Ethex is joining me on this visit, where they will help showcase the UK’s expertise in financial services and technology, and that we are ready to build new relationships with ground-breaking companies in these emerging markets.”

Ethex CEO Lisa Ashford said:

“It’s fantastic that Oxford based Ethex has the opportunity to showcase some of the innovative work we are doing with Lendahand to promote social investing in the UK. Our research clearly shows that 19.5 million people in the UK want to save or invest their money in a way that creates a positive impact, but traditional financial companies just aren’t offering customers these kind of opportunities.

Energise Africa is an initiative that has been jointly developed by Ethex and Lendahand, with support from UK aid to meet this precise need. We’re demonstrating that people can invest in sustainable solar companies from as little as £50, providing these businesses with the low cost finance to purchase and install the solar home systems, and enabling African families to pay back the cost of the system via affordable monthly payment plans.

These solar investments target annual returns of around 6% a year and so far we’ve raised £4.8 million from over 1000 investors, helping 195,000 people access clean energy – that’s definitely a lot of money doing good.”

The trip will allow Ethex to meet with leading policy experts, solar companies and financial institutions to explore how growth in off-grid solar technology can be supported further.

Africa is developing fast; more than half of the anticipated growth in global population between now and 2050 is expected to occur in Africa, and according to the International Monetary Fund, African economies are amongst the fastest growing in the world, making it a significant trading and investment partner for the UK.

During the visit, the Prime Minister will set out how new partnerships between the UK and Africa can add value to the UK economy, create new market opportunities for British businesses, and boost jobs and prosperity for the benefit of all.

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