The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private-sector lending arm, is partnering with Sasfin Bank to develop a portfolio of energy efficiency and renewable-energy financial products for small, medium-sized and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in South Africa.
Green finance made available
The partnership will see the formation of a new advisory services agreement. This will support a $10-million line of credit to expand lending to projects to would help small businesses become more energy efficient, sustainable and competitive.
The programme will be co-funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (Seco).
Sasfin Bank CEO Roland Sassoon said the partnership would assist the company to finance its SMME clients in improving their energy spend.
“This will improve their bottom line and play an important part in the reduction of carbon emissions in the country,” he noted.
Now SMEs can afford to be green
The advisory services partnership aims to develop renewable energy and energy efficiency financial products for smaller manufacturing and services firms, while executing energy audits and training bank staff.
The funding will specifically enable clients to invest in energy efficient capital projects.
It will also examine the energy service company (Esco) marketplace in South Africa and enable Sasfin to develop energy measurement and verification protocols.
“We have launched this project as a Sasfin project, but we, as a niche financing subsidiary of Sasfin, are outsourcing the commercial solutions activities of the group, creating a start-to-finish energy solution,” explained David Edwards, the CEO of Sasfin group company Iquad.
A three-pronged approach
Iquad saw three different ways to serve the market:
- By approaching its clients with financing for energy efficiency, using the incentive grants from government as a catalyst to switch to energy efficient business.
- It will also look to identify reputable energy services companies that could give good service and solutions to clients
By identifying the best product suppliers.