Aavishkaar, KfW to launch $250m ESG fund

Aavishkaar Capital and KfW Announce the Launch of Kshs. 28.2 billion “ESG First Fund”

Aavishkaar Capital and German development bank KfW are set to launch the $250 million Environmental, Social and Governance First Fund to help emerging mid-capital-based businesses scale in Africa and Asia.

So, mid-level Bangladeshi exporters can also reap its benefits, according to Aavishkaar Capital. The fund will be rolled out today.

KfW, a German state-owned investment and development bank, is the provider of the fund, while Aavishkaar Capital, a global pioneer in taking an entrepreneurship-based approach to scaling businesses for impact, is the fund manager.

Leveraging on the global drive for sustainability and equality, the Fund is focused on investing in Africa and Asia with the mandate of generating superior ESG outcomes and commercially viable financial returns alongside positive social impact, Aavishkaar Capital said in a press release.

The fund will seek to provide transformational capital to improve their ESG standards so that they can capitalise on the increasing consumer preference for ecologically-conscious, gender-equal and purpose-driven businesses and meet increasing demands on corporate due diligence in the course of regulatory measures in the European market.

The Fund is in general open to all sectors but focuses on those with high exports towards Europe, which is Bangladesh’s biggest export destination.

“With our investment of 50 million euros, we want to help set up a fund that demonstrates that increased respect for ESG can be a viable investment and business model,” said Anosha Wahidi, of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany.

Aavishkaar Group Founder and Chairman Vineet Rai said the fund takes forward Aavishkaar Group’s vision to “Bridge the Opportunity Gap for the emerging 3 Billion” with its focus on ESG, Africa, Asia, flexible instruments, gender and climate change.

Jan Martin Witte, director of KfW, said, “We believe in the ability of purpose-driven, responsible capital to be transformative while creating attractive investment returns.”

Ashish Patel, managing partner of the ESG First Fund of Aavishkaar Capital, said, “Our focus is to help businesses scale by allowing them to participate in the significant growth of consumer demand for socially-conscious products.”

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