The Business Partnership Facility support programme run by the Belgian Development Cooperation (DGD) and the King Baudouin Foundation has again selected eight enterprise projects in developing countries that are contributing towards the Sustainable Development goals. Support totalling 1.25 million euros has been allocated in this selection round.
The programme is on its fifth selection round since early 2019. The independent selection committee has now selected eight projects to receive non-refundable grants. One is in Ecuador, and the other seven are in Africa: two in Tanzania, and one each in Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana, Kenya and Niger. The selections mentioned above bring the number of enterprise projects supported up to 36, with funding totalling almost 5.8 million euros.
The Business Partnership Facility ‘Enterprises for SDGs’ support programme provides grants to enterprise projects in 52 countries that are working towards at least one of the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs, the 17 goals set out by the United Nations. These goals are intended to eliminate extreme poverty and make our world more sustainable by 2030. The selection process focuses strongly on job creation and improving the position of women, (alleviating) environmental impacts and of course also on sustainable economic feasibility, as well as opportunities to grow or disseminate the business model. Collaboration between different partners is strongly recommended.
A few of these are focused on transferring a larger share of the value chain around agricultural products to local producers, for example through production of dried mango or processing and packaging honey. Another project in the agricultural sector is producing better organic fertilisers. There are also a number of projects focusing on better living conditions, for example providing improved medical care for low-income families by giving them access to their data, providing education for underprivileged children, a payment system to allow people to install solar panels on their own homes, and better access to affordable, safe water. In Ecuador, follow-up support is being provided to an enterprise that makes insulation materials from rice straw.
Doubling the contribution
The former Vice-premier and Minister of Finance and Development Cooperation made a total of 12 million euros available for 2019-2024 and concluded an agreement with the King Baudouin Foundation for management of the Business Partnership Facility. The KBF launched the call for projects ‘Enterprises for SDGs’ at the end of 2018 for this. The amount of support can vary between 50,000 and 200,000 euros, but it must represent no more than a doubling of the partners’ own financial contribution to their project. The purpose of this financing is to help them to get through the high-risk period, ultimately resulting in a commercially viable business.
The sixth call for projects has now been opened, and partnerships can submit their applications until 7 September 2021. More information is available at https://businesspartnershipfacility.be