Press Release

Business Partnership Facility: impact in developing countries by nurturing a culture of learning, innovation, and sustainability

Business Partnership Facility: impact in developing countries by nurturing a culture of learning, innovation, and sustainability cover
February 1, 2024

The King Baudouin Foundation announces the successful external evaluation of the Business Partnership Facility (BPF) project, highlighting its pivotal role in fostering the development of Micro-, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in developing countries, and facilitating private sector involvement in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The BPF provides non-refundable matching grants between €50,000 and €200,000 and has been active for more than 5 years.

The project was initiated and funded by the Directorate-General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid (DGD) of the Belgian Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The operational management of the BPF is entrusted to the King Baudouin Foundation.

Since its conception in 2019, a total of nine rounds of calls for proposals have been launched and 64 business projects awarded a grant, for a total of €10,658,850. Several projects were surveyed for the impact evaluation report. The evaluation concludes that the BPF experience has not been merely a source of funding, but also a catalyst for learning, innovation, and sustainability. It also emphasises the positive impact of Belgian public funds in driving forward the objectives set by projects and the mission of the BPF, aligning with the strategic goals of the King Baudouin Foundation to enhance societal and environmental impact on an international as well as national level.

Key Achievements and Impact Statistics of the BPF project:
Access and Empathy: 100% of the respondents in the grantee survey would recommend the BPF to others, for its straightforward grant process and its understanding of the challenges faced by businesses in Africa.
– Job Creation and Decent Work Policies
: The BPF grant played a crucial role in creating new jobs and implementing decent work policies among the surveyed projects.
Financial Leverage: A majority of grantees leveraged the BPF grant to attract additional financing, showcasing the project’s financial viability and appeal.
Gender Equity: BPF positively influenced the development of gender equity policies, resulting in increased representation of women in the workforce and economic empowerment.
Collaborations and Partnerships: BPF projects fostered numerous collaborations and partnerships, both South-South and North-South, between for-profit and non-profit organisations.
Improved Income for Beneficiaries: In 20% of the projects a measurably improved income for their respective beneficiaries has been demonstrated, contributing to economic uplift.

What’s next?

DGD continues implementing its strategy in supporting the private sector in partner countries, drawing lessons from the BPF as a pilot project. KBF will pursue to monitor and guide the projects towards greater economic robustness and social impact over the next three years.

Several stories also demonstrate the impact of the BPF grant through the direct experiences of the supported enterprises:
Women founders explain how BPF grants support their sustainable businesses in Rwanda and Senegal
Yeyasso produces organic, fair trade, and carbon neutral cocoa in Cote d’Ivoire
In Ghana, Pure & Just Food uses farm waste to add value to local pineapples
Bio Phyto produces organic fertilisers and bio-pesticides to EU standards in Benin

Read the external evaluation report

Find out more about the Business Partnership Facility

Selection of photos

Specific project information: Hervé Lisoir – +32 2 549 02 23