Deutsche Bank Raises $50 Million in “Essential Capital”

Deutsche Bank has closed a five-year, $50 million social enterprise debt fund intended to help close the gap in early-stage financing for social enterprise startups.

The Essential Capital Consortium Fund (ECC) has already made three loans including one to Arvand, a Tajikistan-based microfinance institution that makes “green loans” to consumers to purchase solar panels, clean cookstoves, and other energy efficient products. The fund is expected to make 25 loans to early-stage social enterprises in energy, health, and microfinance.

“The ECC provides responsive debt capital to support the next generation of social entrepreneurs globally who are redefining a market approach to addressing fundamental humanitarian challenges,” said Gary Hattem, who heads Deutsche Bank’s Global Social Finance Group.

The fund, announced at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2012, attracted a consortium of investors including private equity funds, pension funds, foundations, and development banks. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) provided a credit enhancing guarantee.

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