[23.06.2020] Seven enterprise projects in developing countries that are making a contribution towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals have been selected for the Business Partnership Facility support programme of the Belgian Development Cooperation and the King Baudouin Foundation. Support totalling more than one million euros was awarded during this selection round. Twenty-four enterprise projects have now been supported in the context of the Business Partnership Facility, with a total value of almost 4 million euros.
The Business Partnership Facility ‘Enterprises for SDGs’ support programme provides support for innovative enterprise projects that address at least one of the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs, the 17 United Nations goals aimed at eliminating extreme poverty and making our world more sustainable by 2030. The selection process strongly emphasises job creation and improving the position of women, (alleviating) environmental impacts and creating sustainable economic feasibility, as well as opportunities for growth or dissemination of the business model. Collaboration between different partners is a must.
An independent selection committee assesses the applications, and in the third round it selected seven enterprise projects to receive support. One of these is in Peru and the other six are in Africa. The Peruvian project involves supporting farmers in two cooperatives to make their production more ecologically sustainable and give them access to fair trade commercial channels. In Rwanda an initial supply chain has been set up for dried pineapple that has been grown organically. In a rural area in Ethiopia, a distribution network for water filters will help to combat infant mortality caused by diarrhoea, and also provide an extra income for women. In Kenya, two hydroelectric power stations in rural areas are being scaled up; improved access to electricity will create more opportunities for young (female) entrepreneurs. In Benin a production line is being built to manufacture shea butter for the cosmetics industry using products from organic farming and run by cooperatives. Finally, two projects are being supported in DR Congo: an incubator for start-ups in the capital Kinshasa, and a support pathway for farmers in Sud-Ubangi to increase their income from growing coffee and cocoa for local processing.
Vice-premier and Minister of Finance and Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo has released a total of 12 million euros for 2019-2024 and entered into an agreement with the King Baudouin Foundation to manage the Business Partnership Facility. To do this, the KBF has launched a call for projects ‘Enterprises for SDGs’ together with the Belgian Development Cooperation (DGD). 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 to bridge the high-risk period, with the final result being a commercially viable business.
In the first selection rounds, 11 projects were allocated a total of 1.75 million euros in the spring of 2019 and six projects received support totalling one million euros in the autumn of 2019.
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