Rewilding Europe Capital


Rewilding Europe Capital

Supporting transformation of rural economies

Staffan Widstrand / Rewilding Europe

What is Rewilding Europe Capital?

Rewilding Europe Capital (REC) is Europe’s first ‘rewilding enterprise’ funding facility that provides financial loans to new and existing business that catalyse, support and achieve positive environmental and socio-economic outcomes that support rewilding in Europe.

Rewilding Europe Capital works to demonstrate that rewilding creates thriving wildlife and nature focused rural economies that generate new business opportunities, jobs and income for society.

These vibrant socio-economies are replacing diminishing rural landscapes in Europe with declining economic productivity connected to historic agrarian use. Dynamic and contemporary wildlife and wilderness based businesses form a pioneering alternative that work to support natural capital conservation and rewilding.

Staffan Widstrand / Rewilding Europe

Leveraging positive change

Rewilding Europe Capital is working to build a business case for wild nature in Europe and was established to positively stimulate enterprise economies connected to natural landscapes and their wildlife. REC achieves this by providing commercial business loans to businesses that can:

  • Positively address negative socio-economic impacts caused by rural land abandonment;
  • Directly and indirectly support rewilding processes and activities in Europe;
  • Deliver economic returns from nature and wildlife related sectors that also work to conserve natural landscapes, capital and rural cultures and heritage connected to them.
Giancarlo Gallinoro / Rewilding Apennines

Scaling up

In 2013, Rewilding Europe entered its first phase of REC, to invest in European rewilding enterprises. In the first years, we focused on small businesses that were mainly operating in the nature tourism market. We offered loans of up to 80,000 euros and provided 18 loans for the sum of in total 520,000 euros. 

A big leap forward was made in 2017, when Rewilding Europe signed an agreement with the European Investment Bank, through the new Natural Capital Financing Facility, for a new loan facility of 6 million euros. This presented an opportunity to create a second phase for REC, enabling us to scale up to a maximum of 600,000 euros per loan. Rewilding Europe Capital continues to offer loans for medium and larger enterprises to invest in.

Why Rewilding Europe Capital?

In Europe there is virtually no consciousness around the potential for commercial enterprise actively engaging with and supporting the conservation and rewilding of natural landscapes.

In rural areas where the commercial value of natural capital is poorly understood, access to commercial development finance for enterprises working with nature is virtually non-existent.

Nature-based enterprises remain thinly represented – despite the significant natural values across Europe and the ‘wildlife comeback’ now occurring. There are new and distinct enterprise opportunities connected to rewilding.

With its accessibility, security and close access to markets, Europe provides a significant scope to sustain rewilding enterprise markets. These can make a meaningful difference to our natural environment and those relying on it.

Our comparative advantage

Relevant experience

The REC investment team has unparalleled practical transaction experience in developing and investing in conservation / rewilding enterprises in relevant natural contexts in Europe and further afield.

Positive momentum

REC has raised €7.5 million of principal funding and already committed €2 million of loans which are currently performing positively and where key management and risk mitigation efficiencies have been honed.

Clear vision

The investment team has a clear strategy for REC to generate both economic and impact returns stimulating new rewilding based rural economies.


REC is embedded as a core component within Rewilding Europe, which is a well-established, European-wide conservation initiative that has a clear development strategy, established processes, a strong core objective and theory of change.

Support network

REC has open access to the full resources of the Rewilding Europe initiative both in skill specific expertise and dedicated in-country ‘on-the-ground’ resources.

“The efforts of Rewilding Europe Capital so far have shown that it is possible to make a profit and benefit nature at the same time.”

Helena Newell
Enterprise Manager for Rewilding Europe Capital

How does Rewilding Europe Capital work?

Criteria for ‘rewilding enterprise’ and REC investment

Rewilding Europe Capital provides loans to ‘rewilding enterprises’ defined as ‘any commercial activity or businesses that generates economic or social benefits in ways that support and achieve the generation of both rewilding outcomes and natural rewilding impacts’.

To qualify as a ‘rewilding enterprise’, a business must be generating or being capable of generating in the short-medium term at least one of the following rewilding outcomes and demonstrate how these could contribute towards:

Generating Finance

Up-front capital or on-going operating finance (or both) that can support a rewilding area or initiative.

Building Incentives

Demonstrating and increasing the economic benefits derived from wildlife and wild nature to relevant stakeholders (landowners, local communities, public authorities) that incentivises them to conserve it and to rewild.

Optimising Sustainability

Reshaping commercial activities that threaten nature towards alternatives that promote and/or support rewilding.

Optimising Buffer Zones

Increasing the economic productivity of ‘buffer’ landscapes to create and incentivise more competitive natural land uses that support rewilding in core areas

Stimulating Engagement

Enabling direct access to or enjoyment of nature in manners, which fosters the engagement of wider constituencies in its conservation or rewilding.


enterprises supported


companies dedicated training


REC loans provided


euros in loans


offerings in the European Safari Company

Sector focus

REC does not have any sector restrictions, however will give preference and actively seek investments in the following sectors (click to download factsheets):

Forest management
Nature and wildlife tourism
Wetland restoration and water management
Biodiversity and CO2 offsetting
Land estates
Wildlife breeding and management

Funding structure

REC is limited to issuing debt finance only with a minimum lending interest rate of 5%.

Investment size

REC typically targets loans ranging from €100,000 to €600,000. Loans under €100,000 may also be considered.


All beneficiaries of REC funding are required to co-finance a minimum of 25% of the REC loan principal.


Geographic focus

Rewilding Europe Capital is able to provide finance to rewilding enterprises incorporated in any EU-28 member country.

All applicants and beneficiaries of REC funding must operate within a member European Rewilding Network site or initiative. REC uses ‘best efforts’ to concentrate investments within existing rewilding areas.


Rewilding levies

All investees will be contractually required to contribute rewilding levies towards financing rewilding activities capable of generating rewilding impacts. These activities will be set out in the REC loan agreements together with the distribution process.

Rewilding levies are cash balances retained by investees either from top line income or as a type of royalty, which are granted directly by the investee towards supporting a rewilding activity.


Contact us for more information

REC is interested in partnering with and investing in both new and existing enterprises that can support rewilding in Europe. We not only provide investment, but we can also provide wider support for rewilding enterprises. For example by helping businesses to align their operations towards rewilding and, for those that do this well, by also making use of Rewilding Europe’s very powerful and far-reaching communications platforms for promotion.

REC is also interested in co-investment from and partnerships with funding or financing institutions and individuals to support rewilding enterprises in Europe.

If you own or know of a business that you believe can be developed in partnership with REC; or if you would like any further information please contact Daniel Veríssimo.

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