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Support for 11 entrepreneurial projects focusing on SDGs

[27.06.2019] Eleven entrepreneurial projects in developing countries have received funding from the new Business Partnership Facility, a support programme launched by the Belgian Directorate-General for Development Cooperation and the King Baudouin Foundation in late 2018. The projects help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by forging partnerships between businesses, NGOs and/or universities. Total funding of € 1.75 million has been awarded in this first selection round.

The first 11 projects chosen for the Business Partnership Facility ‘Enterprises for SDGs’ are extremely diverse, with eight based in Africa, two in Asia and one in Latin America:

  • African Drive N.V. – Baobab Energie (Benin)
  • Belvas – Première intégration verticale pour la coopérative Ecookim (Côte d’Ivoire)
  • Coldhubs – Solar powered cold rooms (Nigeria)
  • Congretype Pty Ltd – Sonka-Micro-Solar-Bakery (Zimbabwe)
  • DEOSF – Rugofarm – Fair-trade supply chain of organic essential oils of eucalyptus and lemon grass (Burundi)
  • Farmerline – Blockchain & AI to grow the income of African farmers (Ghana)
  • Good Neighbors International – Dairy Value Chain Development Project (Nepal)
  • GTAI Ethiopia (Getinet Tilahun Agricultural Investment) – Organic honey production (Ethiopia)
  • Kivu Kick Starter – Guarantee fund (RD Congo)
  • Solid – Expansion of a social weaving and knitting studio for tribal women (India)
  • YES, Yepez Salmon Asociados – BIOM, Biomaterials for construction (Ecuador)

What unites the projects is that they all focus on at least one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations’ 17 objectives aiming to eradicate extreme poverty and make our world more sustainable by 2030. Their ambition is to bring about positive social, economic and environmental innovations with benefits for local people.

The support programme’s initiators want the projects to be established by a partnership of businesses, NGOs and/or academic institutions, reflecting their belief that the SDGs can be achieved if entrepreneurs and the private sector also play their part. They therefore welcome the fact that projects based on such partnerships have been selected, whether or not they involve actors from Belgium.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo set aside funding of € 12,000,000 over a five-year period and signed a contract with the King Baudouin Foundation in late 2018. The Foundation then launched the ‘Enterprises for SDGs’ call for projects in conjunction with the Belgian Directorate-General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid (DGD). The funding can range from € 50,000 to € 200,000 but cannot be more than the partners’ own financial contribution to their project. The idea is to support the projects through the risky initial period and eventually reach a point where the new business is commercially viable.

In all, over € 1.75 million has been awarded in the first selection round, with decisions taken by an independent selection committee.

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