October 02, 2017

The Low Carbon Enterprise Fund (LCEF) and the OPES Impact Fund Merger

The Low Carbon Enterprise Fund (LCEF) and the OPES Impact Fund have agreed to merge. The new Fund (OPES-LCEF) will focus its activities primarily on India and East Africa, providing finance, management and technical assistance to early stage social enterprises.  The new Fund will invest in low carbon energy,  water and sanitation, health, education and agri-businesses. 

OPES-LCEF will be registered as a European-based charity, with the investment team based in Europe, East Africa and India. 

The merger will bring together the assets and investments of the two funds and will provide a significant saving in administrative costs.  OPES currently has seven investments (mainly in East Africa) and LCEF has a similar number, principally in India, but also in Latin America and East Asia. Both existing funds have charitable status. 

The newly merged operation will focus on SMEs serving the less advantaged communities in a new early stage fund that will combine their expertise and portfolios to make a more significant contribution to the missing capital investment space.  The Opes-LCEF Early Stage Impact Fund will deploy patient, hybrid capital of between $50,000-400,000 to invest in impact SMEs operating across a breadth of sectors, while continuing the LCEF legacy of expertise in low carbon ventures.  The fund will focus its energies on East Africa and India, and be managed primarily by a team out of Nairobi, Kenya.

Elena Casolari, Executive President of OPES, commenting on the merger, said:

For us, this merger really makes sense.  We both have very similar investment philosophies, we are of a similar size and we both have charitable status.  I believe that supporting early stage companies is incredibly important; there are many very promising enterprises that need around USD 50-400K to allow them to scale up to the next stage.  Unfortunately, it is a real challenge for them to access the necessary funds. I am delighted that Emma Caddy, the LCEF Director, has agreed to lead our investment activities from Nairobi”. 

Robin Bidwell, Chairman of LCEF, added:

We are really delighted to have found a partner with a very similar mission to our own.  This will enable us to pool our experience of supporting these enterprises and provide us the resources to continue to help these early stage social enterprises”.

Opes Impact Fund is an investment vehicle established in 2013 that supports early stage social enterprises with capital to enable them to grow, become profitable and generate long-lasting social impact and alternative business models.

The LCEF is an impact fund established in 2008 to invest in and provide mentorship to early stage SMEs in emerging markets whose products or services provide savings and low carbon alternatives to low income consumers.   The LCEF has invested two funds and currently has 10 ventures in its portfolio.

For further information please contact: emma.caddy@opesfund.eu


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