Access to finance

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Access to finance is consistently reported to be the biggest challenge faced by last mile distributors, and working alongside both members and funders to tackle this challenge is a top priority for the GDC

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The access to finance challenge

Despite last mile distributors’ (LMDs) relative success in fundraising – with 62% of GDC members having raised grant, debt and/or equity between 2019 and 2022 – access to finance remains the top challenge; particularly for local companies. To unlock the full potential of the LMD sector all types of funding are needed. While funders are increasingly exploring ways to invest further downstream and support smaller companies, as well as local companies, the reality remains that capital is still not flowing into the space at the rate required – and the capital that is flowing, is not sufficiently inclusive or tailored to the LMD sector’s needs.

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How is the GDC working to bring finance into the LMD sector? 

  • We generate data, research and insights to help investors better understand LMDs’ fundraising and growth journeys and to recognise that profitability is not always linked to scale;
  • We enable structured dialogue (amongst investors, as well as between investors and distributors) to inform investor decision-making and support those investors focused on the LMD sector to raise funds; for example via our 2021 and 2022 LMD Investor Forums
  • We develop bespoke tools and resources to support LMDs get investment ready and raise funding.
Photo credit: GDC
Photo credit: GDC

LMD funding database

What? A database of 50+ funders with a track record of supporting LMDs

Why? To provide an overview of funders interested in investing in LMD, and to enable GDC members to search for, identify and raise appropriate funding for their companies.

Check out the database

Investing in last mile distribution

What? A video series showcasing the growth and impact stories of three GDC members and their partners

Why? To spotlight the important role of intermediary investors in channelling investment into the LMD sector; unlocking much-needed finance for companies while enabling their own investors to achieve financial and impact goals.

Watch the video series

More access to finance resources:

The growth and fundraising journeys of last mile distributors

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The growth and fundraising journeys of last mile distributors

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How last mile distributors put capital to work for impact

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Early-stage investment in last mile distributors

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Tips for writing a successful grant funding application

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How crowdfunding can be an option to raise debt finance

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Last Mile Distribution Investor Forum 2022

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These knowledge outputs were funded with UK aid from the UK government via the Transforming Energy Access programme; and GET.invest, a European programme which aims to mobilise investment in decentralised renewable energy, supported by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria.