Inclusive Business in Development Cooperation of EU Member States

Institutional Setup

The Spanish ministry responsible for development cooperation is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, which sees the improvement of all aspects of the quality of life in disadvantaged countries as its main foreign obligation. The main executing body in Spanish development cooperation is Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional Para el Desarrollo (AECID).

As AECID carries much of the responsibility for achieving Spanish development objectives, it launched its first Strategic Plan for 2014-2017 in 2013. Following the approval of AECID’s resources by the General State Budget (GSB), an Annual Action Plan is developed each year. AECID aims to work with focussed programmes built with each partner country, creating partnerships with other stakeholders, incorporating their capacities and resources.

Spanish development programmes focus particularly on knowledge exchange, institutional strengthening, and discourse on policy reform to benefit development. In low-income countries, they have an additional focus on providing financial resources.

AECID’s contributes to development processes by involving various stakeholders in solving complex development challenges, by fostering working methods and knowledge exchange at eye level, and by encouraging dialogue on its development policies in partner countries. These stakeholders include the EU and its member states, NGOs, multilateral development bodies, academia, and Spanish stakeholders in the management arena. AECID is also responsible for coordinating and leading Spanish Humanitarian Action.

Inclusive Business in Private Sector Promotion

Private sector promotion has gained significance in Spanish development cooperation, which now seeks to make this sector a partner in achieving its development objectives. To involve private sector stakeholders, AECID is focussing on communication, training, and joint initiatives and alliances, in order to make clear the potential the private sector has in contributing to development.

Regional Focus

Spanish development cooperation focusses on four main regions: middle-income countries in Latin America, North Africa and the Middle East, and low-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Philippines in Asia.


Acciones de Cooperación

Sub-Saharan Africa
Latin America and the Caribbean
Middle East and North Africa
Programme description


For NGOs to involve the private and academic sector in achieving development objectives.


Up to 24 projects are selected for implementation each year, of which

  • 8 are reserved for the private sector,
  • 8 for the civil sector, and
  • 4 for the academic sector

All projects must at least being carried out by two of these categories of institutions (NGO/Enterprise/Academe)


Programme description


To support Spanish firms in diversifying their target markets by serving low-income populations in emerging markets, so that they can implement innovative, commercially viable, solutions to challenges in sustainable development and social inclusion.


  • Identifying market opportunities with positive impact
  • Gathering communities and private companies that are interested in developing those opportunity
  • Designing business models with positive impacts and revenues between communities and Spanish private sector