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Financing instruments for resource efficiency and eco innovations



Barriers and opportunities on access to finance  

Access to finance remains a challenge for scaling-up, or even launching, sustainable business models and green entrepreneurship. On one hand, a significant number of entrepreneurs have limited insight into financing opportunities, and lack skills and capacity to make sound applications for growing their businesses or internationalising their enterprises. On the other hand, investors’ understanding about sustainability priorities, resource efficiency opportunities and potentials for product and service innovations stays rather weak despite their growing interest on the topic. Therefore, facilitation of access to finance requires a good understanding of issues on both sides sand developing financing solutions and technical support to address those strengths and weaknesses

 

 What do we aim at?

The objective of the session was to get an insight into financing needs of green industry and green entrepreneurs in the Mediterranean countries and provide a mapping of financing instruments and asset classes available in response. Specifically, we aim to

  1. Provide an overview of financing instruments from large-scale to small by different speakers.
  2. Give insights in the financing needs of entrepreneurs in the Mediterranean.
  3. Show a visual report including the overview, key insights and needs that need to be addressed.

 

 

What are the financing instruments available to entrepreneurs?

Main moderator:

  • Daniel Sorrosal, Policy and Advocacy Manager, FEBEA (European Federation of Ethical and Alternative Banks)
  • Lara Listens, Visual Facilitator

Speakers:

  • Nigel Jollands, Senior Policy Manager, Energy Efficiency and Climate Change team, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
  • Catherine Bellin-Schulz - Chargé de Partenariats, Solidarité Internationale pour le Développement & l’Investissement (SIDI) (confirmed)
  • Bruno Dunkel, Fund Manager, CoopMed - Social Economy Fund for the Mediterranean Financing instrument: Eco and social entrepreneurship fund (confirmed)
  • Ferda Ulutaş, Turkish Technology Development Foundation (TTGV)
  • Xavier Pont, Co-funder and Director General, Ship2B
  • Arnaud Pinier, smala & co Financing instrument: Crowd funding 


Mr. Daniel Sorrosal introduced the session and each of the speakers had a 10 minutes slot to  present their topic. ´Financial instruments for resource efficiency and eco-innovations´ by Nigel Jollands, who provided inspiring examples of financing instruments shared in the presentations, followed by Bruno Dunkel and his presentation on ¨Coopmed, social impact Accelerator Fund for the Mediterranean Region¨. There was also a presentation on ¨TTGV support for green ındustry and green entrepreneurshıp¨ by Ferda Ulutaş and another one by Catherine Bellin-Schulz on the SIDI-International Solidarity for Development and Investment.

 

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This session highlighted an interesting way that European investors adopt when operating in the MENA region. The European investor does not usually operate directly in the country, it creates a collaboration with local financial intermediaries. This way of operating overcomes some drawbacks. First of all, the intermediary has a better knowledge of the local context, something that would cost a lot of money and time to the European counterpart. It also avoids setting up an operational office in the country, which would also cost precious resources. An example of an instrument that uses this approach is CoopMed.

CoopMed provides stable long-term financing, mainly in the form of subordinated loans, to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other financial intermediaries, with a view to strengthening their funding structure and encouraging them to expand their lending activityto the benefit of microenterprises, cooperatives, social economy enterprises, and economic initiatives led by NGOs.

  

“On the green entrepreneurs side there is a renewed interest in setting up and expanding firms, however the local financial support is lacking - this session really helped in understanding what can be done at the local level”
Daniel Sorrosal, Policy and Advocacy Manager, FEBEA 

During the session, reflections questions were posted, one after every second presentation, in order to gather all reactions from the audience and share it with everyone. Participants were invited to write down key results and insights and pass this on to the visual facilitator. In this way their insights were captured in the visual report of the session.

Reflection Question 1: How good is access to financing for green entrepreneurs and green industries in the context you work in?

Reflection Question 2: What do green entrepreneurs need in order to have better access to financing?

Reflection Question 3: What did you learn from the presentations in this session?


Let´s continue the discussion

What this session highlighted is the need to increase the networking between European and MENA stakeholders, as there is the potential for synergies. One possible solution is to import the more advanced European financial instruments in the MENA, where the available instruments are not developed enough and green entrepreneurs are there but lack financing opportunities.


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You can join and contribute the discussion on Scale up acces to finance in the session community here. You can also download the presentations here. Follos us at the upoming SwitchMed Connect 2016