The Business Partnership Facility ‘Enterprises for SDGs’ support programme provides grants to innovative enterprise projects that address at least one of the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs, the 17 United Nations goals intended to eliminate extreme poverty and make our world more sustainable by 2030. Collaboration between different partners is essential.
An independent selection committee assesses the application forms and in the fourth round it selected five enterprise projects in Africa to receive support.
In Rwanda access to clean and safe drinking water is being improved through 40 eco-friendly water ATMs in poor urban communities, reaching 16,000 people. These will be managed by young people and women through a franchise model, thereby creating 40 new jobs. Iriba Water Group (enterprise), Prime Biodiversity (NGO) and Ladder Rwanda (NGO) are partners in the project.
The company Guavay and the NGO Kilimo Trust are scaling up the annual production of organic fertilizer to strengthen the sustainable avocado value chain in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. This is creating 90 jobs. A further 1,688 smallholder avocado farmers, 40% of whom are women, will have a better income.
Close the Gap gives used ICT equipment a new life: it is refurbished in Kenya and the e-waste is processed safely. The project being supported includes the building of a new workshop in Mombasa, together with the company Enviroserve.
VITALITE Senegal offers entry-level Solar Home Systems to low-income families. These are providing access to clean energy for 10,000 households, positively impacting 83,400 people and creating 60 jobs. The company is collaborating with its sister company in Zambia Ma Tontine and the NGOs Social Energy and SEM Fund.
Yao Tropico will produce and export dried organic mango from Côte Ivoire to Europe. A total of 500 smallholders will be trained to increase both quantity and quality of production, and the first modern mango drying facility in the country will provide 200 jobs. This will also facilitate exports to Europe for other, small drying companies. The enterprise Mango Impact is involved, alongside a number of cooperatives.
Twelve million over five years
Alexander De Croo, Minister of Development Cooperation at the time, 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. Grants are awarded via the calls for projects ‘Enterprises for SDGs’.
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. 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.
Almost 4 million euros has already been awarded to 24 projects in previous selection rounds in 2019 and early 2020.
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